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Safety concerns raised after man hit by Jeep which rolled off transporter

A sheriff has raised fears over industry safety standards after a runaway Jeep rolled off a car transporter and badly injured a supermarket delivery driver.

Andrew McClure, 57, underwent surgery on a broken leg and was in hospital for 11 days after the horror accident.

He was unloading groceries for a customer on Glasgow Road, Uddingston, when the driverless Cherokee Jeep ploughed into him.

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Hamilton Sheriff Court heard the accident could have happened because straps securing vehicles on transporters can loosen in wet weather.

Sheriff Mungo Bovey QC said the explanation caused him great concern.

He stated: “On that view the whole industry is unsafe.”

Gordon Maule, 41, of Shawfield Crescent, Law, is accused of driving dangerously and failing to secure the vehicles on his transporter properly.

The crash happened shortly before 6pm on December 5, 2019.

Sainsbury’s driver Mr McClure said he was putting items on a barrow at the back of his van when he saw a vehicle coming towards him.

He stated: “I didn’t realise there was no one driving it.

“I think I tried to jump out of the way, but I don’t remember exactly what happened. I might have blacked out.”

Mr McClure was taken to hospital where he underwent surgery on a broken thigh bone.

Heather Gourlay, 55, said she was travelling behind the transporter.

She told prosecutor Alice Carey: “I noticed a Jeep on the bottom level was bouncing and its back wheels went down on to the road.

“I peeped my horn and flashed my lights.

“I thought to myself ‘I hope that doesn’t fall off’ and it did.

“The Jeep veered off to the left and hit the Sainsbury’s van.”

Miss Gourlay, a nurse, said she eventually got the transporter driver to stop and they both ran to help the injured delivery man.

Maule’s boss, John Gorman, said that in more than 20 years in the industry he had never known a vehicle to fall from a transporter.

It was up to the individual driver to ensure the loaded cars were secure and to flag up any issues.

Mr Gorman also told the court he believed the Jeep rolled off Maule’s transporter because the straps securing it had loosened due to rain.

Sheriff Bovey said the point raised gave him “deep concern”, adding: “It was a stormy December day in the west of Scotland.

“Nobody said the weather was unusual. It wasn’t a Beast from the East or a named storm.”

The court also heard evidence that none of the other four vehicles on the transporter – including a Ford Transit van – was secured properly.

But Maule’s lawyer, Michael Tierney, claimed the accident was caused by “a perfect storm”.

He said: “It was windy and wet, and the Jeep’s high point of suspension meant it was more prone to move. That has put the straps under pressure.”

After the evidence concluded, Sheriff Bovey said he will give a verdict next month.

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