Lorry driver Michael Wilson jailed over fatal crash near Creetown

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Image source, Police Scotland
Image caption,
Alan Neill was fatally injured in the crash on the A75 in July 2018

A lorry driver who fell asleep at the wheel before a head-on collision which caused the death of a gun dog trainer has been jailed for five years.

Michael Wilson's vehicle crossed the centre line of the A75 at Creetown in Dumfries and Galloway on 7 July 2018.

Alan Neill, 70, was fatally injured when the lorry hit his Ford pick-up which was towing 12 dogs in a trailer.

Two dogs also died in the crash as Mr Neill was transporting them from Northern Ireland to a grouse count.

The count involves estate bosses using the dogs to flush out the birds to assess their numbers.

A judge told 28-year-old Wilson at the High Court in Edinburgh there was no appropriate alternative to a jail term.

Lord Armstrong noted that the lorry driver had expressed "remorse and regret" but said it was a very serious matter.

He banned Wilson from driving for nine-and-a-half years and ordered that he resit a test before driving again.

Another motorist, Glenda Harper, was also seriously hurt in the crash after her Suzuki was hit.

She had to be cut out of her car and was airlifted to hospital with multiple injuries.

'Very sorry'

Wilson, of Craigavon, Country Armagh, was earlier found guilty of causing the death of Mr Neill, of Stewartstown, County Tyrone, by driving dangerously.

The court heard that the recording function of tachograph equipment on the lorry had been manipulated and that he had tail-gated another motorist while "showing signs of fatigue".

A jury at his trial rejected a defence that the incident was caused by him reacting to something appearing on the roadway.

Wilson had claimed that he swerved to avoid it.

Defence counsel Allan Macleod said: "He is genuinely very sorry and remorseful that his actions caused the death of another human being and that is something he will have to live with for the rest of his life."

He said Wilson still experienced flashbacks and woke up during the night with recurring and disturbing dreams.

Mr Macleod said that his client was assessed as posing a low risk of further offending and that he had told him he had no intention to drive HGV vehicles again.