Advertisement

  1. ITV Report

Rangers supporters' bus driven 'like a roller coaster' seconds before crash

39-year-old Ryan Baird died at the scene of the crash Photo: ITV Border

A prosecutor has urged a jury to convict bus driver Callum Phillips of causing the death of a Rangers fan by dangerous driving, claiming the bus was driven like a 'roller coaster' seconds before it crashed.

49-year-old Phillips from Dalbeattie, is on trial at the High Court in Glasgow.

He denies killing 39-year-old Ryan Baird by dangerous driving at the Crossroads Roundabout, near Kilmarnock, on 1 October 2016.

Mr Baird, from Sanquhar, Dumfries-shire, died at the scene from injuries to his chest and abdomen.

He and 36 fellow members of the Nith Valley Rangers supporters' club were travelling from Dumfries to Glasgow for a home match against Partick Thistle.

Richard Goddard in his closing speech to the jury said: “The bus came round the roundabout like a roller coaster and that was seconds before Ryan Baird lost his life.

“The right thing to do having heard all the evidence is to convict Callum Phillips of causing death by dangerous driving.”

39-year-old Ryan Baird Credit: ITV Border

Mr Goddard said that passengers on the bus spoke of Phillips' driving being 'fast and erratic' and said as they approached the roundabout they knew the bus was not going to make it.

The prosecutor told the jury that one passenger said that Phillips was “flying down the road with his foot down,” and added: “He was driving at 63mph for substantial periods of the journey and at one point reached 73mph.

“Callum Phillips chose to drive his coach at speed and erratically in a way which caused passengers to fear for their safety.”

In evidence Phillips claimed that the brakes were not working as he approached the roundabout, but Mr Goddard told the jury that experts who examined them found no defects.

Phillips also admitted in court that he had not looked at his speedometer throughout the journey from Dumfries up towards the roundabout.

Mr Goddard added: ““When a roundabout is approaching and you are driving a bus with 37 passengers and don't know what speed you are doing it is a recipe for disaster.”

The prosecutor invited the jury to find that Phillips driving that day was below that expected of a competent and careful driver and to convict him.

The trial before judge Lady Stacey continues.