A steel worker who caused the death of an Angus OAP after a horror smash has been jailed for 10 months, just days after what would have been the pensioner’s 70th birthday.
Steven Hall previously pleaded guilty at Dundee Sheriff Court to killing William Barclay in February 2019 by pulling out of a junction in his red Ford Transit and colliding with the Renault Kangoo driven by Mr Barclay.
The pensioner’s vehicle flew through the air and landed on top of a woman’s car on the A94 Coupar Angus to Forfar road, near Eassie.
It was concluded Hall had a “clear and unobstructed” view of Mr Barclay’s van for around eight seconds prior to the collision.
A sheriff ruled that there was no alternative to a custodial sentence as well as banning Hall from driving for a year.
Mr Barclay’s widow Anne said she still found it hard to accept that her husband, known as Bill, was gone.
Speaking at her home in Brechin, she said: “I keep expecting him to walk in the front door shouting to me that he is home but that is never going to happen again.
“It would have been my husband’s 70th birthday on Saturday so this is obviously a very difficult time for me and my family.
“Bill was a real family man, he loved his family so this is very hard for all of us – me, his children and his grandchildren.
“I feel particularly sad for our two grandsons, Noah, 11, and Ellis, 9, having to grow up without their grandad.
“Ellis is just like his grandad, full of devilment.They thought the world of him and he of them.”
Mrs Barclay added: “I still feel raw and in shock from everything that has happened.
“Bill was always a healthy and well man.
“My family have been a real comfort to me and I’m lucky to have them.
“His death has left a massive hole in all our lives and it’s something we will never get over.”
When sentencing Hall, Sheriff Alastair Carmichael said: “The level of carelessness on your part was high.
“You had potentially over eight seconds to check for oncoming traffic. In my view the level of your carelessness, the need to express society’s disapproval, and the need to deter others from such driving means there is no alternative to a custodial sentence.”
Mr Barclay, formerly a painter and decorator, was a popular figure in the Angus town. At the time of the crash, he was working as a driver for a local firm.
The court heard Hall, 59, had driven just a short distance away from his workplace at Scot-Steel Limited.
Fiscal depute John Adams said Hall was bound to give way at the junction with the road conditions dry and very little traffic.
Mr Adams told the court: “The driver of the Volkswagen noticed the accused’s vehicle at the junction and she instinctively started to slow down.
“She also noticed the deceased’s vehicle coming towards her. The accused’s vehicle moved out, turning east to the A94.
“The vehicle struck the offside of the deceased’s vehicle causing it to go broadside on the road before it rolled and became airborne, somersaulting through the air before coming to a rest on the roof of the witness’s vehicle.”
Mr Adams said the woman was able to escape but firefighters had to prise open the door of Mr Barclay’s van where he was pronounced dead at 1.58pm. A post mortem found the cause of his death to be head injuries and blunt force trauma.
Police arrested Hall in August last year where he provided a “no comment” interview.
Hall, of Alexander Rise, Glenrothes, pleaded guilty to causing Mr Barclay’s death through careless driving.
Defence counsel Barry Smith said previously that Hall was keen to express his sincere apologies and condolences.
Sheriff Carmichael jailed Hall for 10 months and disqualified him from driving for 12 months.