Driver jailed for causing death of passenger

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A 49 year-old man from Dumfries has been sentenced to five years imprisonment for causing the death of a passenger after losing control of his coach.

Callum Phillips, 49, from Dalbeattie, previously a Brownriggs driver, was sentenced at the High Court in Glasgow after having been found guilty of causing the death of Ryan Baird on 1 October 2016 on the A76 Kilmarnock to Dumfries Road.

The court heard that Phillips’ coach had been driving at speeds of up to 73mph on the road where the limit for the coaches is 50mph.

Phillips lost control of the coach as it entered Crossroads Roundabout at Kilmarnock on the A76 in the early afternoon of 1 October 2016.

The coach skidded, struck and mounted a kerb, crossed over a footway and struck a lamp post before coming to rest on its side on a grass verge.

Ryan Baird died of his injuries and 18 others were injured including three with serious injuries.

David Green, Head of the Scottish Fatalities Investigation Unit said: “Callum Phillips’ dangerous driving and excessive speed has irrevocably damaged many lives with one death and three seriously injured.

“Hopefully this will serve as a reminder of the very serious consequences of dangerous driving and the deep harm that it can cause.”

Judge Lady Stacey jailed Phillips and disqualified him from driving or having a licence for five years.

She said: “Your driving caused the death of Ryan Baird. Nothing that this court can do or say can lessen the grief that the family and friends feel at their loss.”

The judge added: “You didn’t mean to endanger your passengers but you did show a shocking lack of care in your driving.”