View Full Version : Accident inquiry

21-Dec-15, 21:50
Policeman discovered road crash victim at Berriedale was brother

A POLICE officer, tasked to attend a serious road accident on the notorious Berriedale Braes discovered that the lorry driver victim was his brother.
In keeping with regulations, Constable Stuart Cormack didn't take an active part in the accident inquiries but remained at the scene as rescuers worked to release his brother, Bruce, from his crushed cab, on the A9.
The police officer who had driven to the crash scene from Thurso, was commended by a sheriff today for doing his duty in giving evidence to an inquiry into the death.
Mr Cormack died, after his northbound lorry and trailer overturned, on the south Berriedale Brae, late on September 18, 2014. Emergency services converged on the scene of the accident and firefighters had to use cutting gear to release the driver from the cab of his overturned lorry and trailer.
The 41-year-old, a partner in the Caithness haulage firm of W D Cormack and Sons, died at the crash scene. He was described as an experienced and respected long distance driver. Mr Cormack was bringing a consignment of fertiliser north which spilled onto the roadway.
The inquiry heard that it had been a normal trip up until the he arrived at the south brae. Evidence from expert witnesses suggested that there might have been a sudden brake failure as Mr Cormack descended the brae although there was no direct evidence to substantiate that. However, the tacograph computer in his cab indicated the vehicle had increased its speed from 20mph-30 mph as it was taking a bend on the hill.
It was also revealed that the test certificate on the lorry had expired the previous month but the inquiry was told that steps had been taken to prevent any such recurrence.
Sheriff Andrew Berry expressed his condolances to PC Cormack who sat through the inquiry, after giving his evidence and acknowledged his professionalism. The constable was a partner in the family haulage firm, prior to joining the force, three years ago.
The sheriff said: "He cannot have been looking forward to attending court today but at least there has been closure with this part of the matter being concluded."
The sheriff also praised motorists who stopped at the accident scene, raising the alarm and trying to maintain contact with the lorry driver although they were powerless to free him given the crushed state of the cab.
Sheriff Berry added that he would endeavour to give his written determination as soon as possible.
Bruce Cormack, of Huna House, Durran, near Castletown, was survived by his wife , Lynn son Scott and parents Sandy and Jane.