Family of trucker killed by drink driver travelling 90mph get £500,000 payout

The family of a lorry driver killed by a drink driver who lost control of his BMW have received more than half-a-million pounds in damages.

Malcolm Easton, 42, died after Michael Hall crashed while travelling at nearly 90mph on the M74 in Lanarkshire, Scotland, in May 2019.

Hall, 38, was more than twice the legal limit after watching a football game the night before when he tried to overtake Mr Easton’s HGV in heavy rain.

He struck the lorry, sending it down an embarkment and leaving Mr Easton, from Dunbartonshire, with fatal head injuries.

Hall, from Leeds, was jailed and banned from driving after admitting causing death by dangerous driving last year.

In a statement, the Easton family said they hoped the result of the civil action would serve as a warning of the consequences of getting behind the wheel after drinking.

They said: “After Malcolm died we were left with so many emotions and questions.

“The driver of the BMW might be in jail but losing his liberty for a few years in no way compares to the suffering we have endured and will continue to face in the future.

“Our family was left in a place where we didn’t know how we’d be able to keep going but the civil action helped address details for us that did not emerge from the prosecution so we’re grateful for the clarity and answers as it helps us manage things going forwards.

“At the very least we hope the wider public learn from what happened here so other families.

“We now wish to have our privacy respected as we continue with our lives but before we do we’d like to offer our sincere thanks to everyone who supported us for the last two years.”

The High Court in Glasgow previously heard how Hall, a car sales manager, was driving a BMW 240 from Leeds to Ayrshire after watching Liverpool beat Barcelona in the Champions League semi-final when the crash happened.

Mr Easton was driving a 44-tonne HGV on the M74 northbound when Hall attempted to overtake at approximately 89mph and is believed to have aquaplaned before the colliding with the lorry, causing it to jack-knife, break through a crash barrier and travel around 40 metres down a steep embankment.

Hall was later found to have 47mg of alcohol per 100ml of breath when the legal limit is 22mg after drinking the night before.

He was jailed for four years and banned from driving for seven years and four months.

David Nellaney, Partner at Digby Brown Solicitors in Glasgow, who helped the Easton family with their civil case, said: “What makes the loss of Malcolm harder to comprehend was how avoidable it was.

“This accident reinforces the need for all motorists to exercise extreme care when getting behind the wheel after consuming alcohol the night before and consider the impact this has on their ability to drive safely.

“It is not acceptable to ‘feel good enough to drive’. If there is any doubt about being legally safe to drive then motorists should simply avoid driving as the consequence of mistakes caused by driving over the legal limit can cost lives.

“The level of dignity, strength and resilience the Easton family has shown throughout this very difficult period is immeasurable.

“I only hope that the conclusion of this case can now bring some closure and allow them to move on with their lives because it is the least they deserve as a family.”