Fatal crash lorry ‘not roadworthy’

John Moody died at Edinburgh's Western General Hospital
John Moody died at Edinburgh's Western General Hospital
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A lorry involved in a crash which resulted in the death of a 60-year-old worker was not roadworthy and would have failed an MOT.

The incident happened on the A9 in Bannockburn when the three-and-a-half ton Mitsubishi Cantor careered into an oncoming milk truck. John Moody, from Stenhousemuir, was a passenger in the lorry and sustained serious injuries including brain damage.

He never regained consciousness and died in Edinburgh’s Western General Hospital 10 days later.

At Stirling Sheriff Court on Tuesday a fatal accident inquiry heard the vehicle in question, operated by Plean firm Falburn Engineering Ltd, was badly maintained, had not been serviced for up to three years and lacked a safe-braking refinement that might have prevented the accident.

Sheriff Derek O’Carroll ruled Mr Moody’s boss at Falburn also knew the tail of the lorry had a “dangerous” tendency to “kick out” but failed to warn his workers.

He added the accident might have been avoided if “reasonable precautions” had been taken.

The week-long inquiry heard Mr Moody, a fabricator, was being driven by colleague James Short when the lorry went out of control approaching the Greencornhills roundabout just before 8 a.m. on June 16, 2012.

Mr Short stated he was braking on approach to the roundabout in heavy rain when the lorry “kicked out”.

He said the wheels locked and it immediately veered violently to the right across the opposite carriageway.

He attempted to correct it but the vehicle did not respond and crashed.

Sheriff O’Carroll criticised Falburn Engineering managing director Ian Hepburn, who gave evidence to the inquiry stating the lorries “are prone to swerving”.

Mr Hepburn claimed he told workers about this but Sheriff O’Carroll did not believe him.

Sheriff O’Carroll added: “I was rather unimpressed by the evidence of managing director Ian Hepburn in this regard. His evidence was at times vague and confused and contradictory.”