Driver in double death horror was "unresponsive"

A FATAL accident inquiry has heard how the driver of a Range Rover who ploughed into two girls and killed them was unresponsive after the collision.

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William Payne was driving his 4x4 on December 17, 2009, down North Hanover Street in Glasgow city centre, when he collided with Mhairi Convy, 18, and Laura Stewart, 20.

He also injured Mark Hopwood, 36, who was thrown on to the road but survived.

Yesterday (Tues) at Glasgow Sheriff Court, eye witness Gary McGinley gave evidence at an inquiry into the deaths of Miss Convy and Miss Stewart.

He told the court he came out of the car park at John Lewis further down the road and was at traffic lights when he saw Mr Payne's vehicle approaching him in the opposite carriageway.

Mr McGinley said: "My initial thought was the speed the vehicle was traveling."

He added: "I thought it was a ridiculous speed to be traveling in the inside lane."

The witness said he realised it wasn't the inside lane the car was driving on, but the pavement with the "engine revving".

Asked by procurator fiscal depute Jim Graham what he saw when it came down the pavement he said: "There was a collision once he came down to the traffic light area."

Mr Graham asked if he saw anyone being hit and he said he did.

He told the inquiry: "It was a bit of a frenzy. I know after the event when I stopped the car there was three pedestrians struck but at the time it was hard to distinguish how many there was."

Mr McGinley said he went to see the girls on the ground, then the driver of the car, before going to Mr Hopwood.

Mr Graham asked what state the two girls were in and the witness said: "Their bodies were slightly twisted and in a bad way. It was quite gory to see.

"I ran over the driver, he was just facing ahead, pan faced, eyes fixed."

He said: "I asked 'you okay, you okay pal? No response from him. He looked physically okay, he was sitting back in the vehicle and the window was open."

The court also heard from Mark Hopwood who was hit by Mr Payne's car during the collision.

Mr Graham asked him what happened when he crossed the road on North Hanover Street. He said: "That's when I noticed the car on the pavement heading towards me."

He said: "As I was turning away I'm assuming the front side hit me, from what I've worked out."

Mr Hopwood said the car was traveling about 50 or 60 mph before hitting a grass verge. Although he didn't see the car hit anyone else he said he saw somone else lying on the road.

Another witness, Darren Bell, who saw the collison said he saw one person "up in the air" who landed in the middle of the pedestrian crossing, another who was "dragged" and further away was a man lying on the ground.

Asked what gender the people were he said: "The one that was in front of me was female, the one that had been dragged away was a dark haired female and the chap, obviously was male."

John Hutchison, 65, who also was at the scene said he turned off the engine in the Range Rover as the car was against a pole at an angle with the wheels still turning.

He said he heard Mr Payne say "I'm not well" when a police officer had arrived at the car.

Constable Dawn Lindsay, who spoke to Mr Payne after the incident, said he told her he had slipped that morning.

She also told the hearing he said he had suffered blackouts dating back to 2007.

The hearing before sheriff Andrew Normand continues.


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