A speeding bus driver has been convicted of killing a Rangers fan in a horror crash.
Father-of-two Callum Phillips, 49, was driving at speeds of up to 73mph shortly before the collision which took the life of 39-year-old Ryan Baird.
The bus, which had 37 passengers on board from the Nith Valley Rangers supporters’ club aged six to 60, was described as “like a roller coaster” as it entered Crossroads Roundabout on the A76 near Kilmarnock around 1pm on October 1, 2016.
It smashed into a lamp post and then skidded along on its side before coming to a halt.
One passenger Heather Geddes, 25, who was on the bus as a birthday treat, described Phillips as “flying down the road with his foot to the floor”.
Mr Baird, from Sanquhar, died trapped in the wreckage. Graeme Slider, 30, from Dumfries-shire suffered a fractured pelvis. John Campbell, 69, needed skin grafts on his arms and John Torrance suffered fractured ribs and internal bleeding.
Yesterday, as the verdict of guilty to causing the death of Mr Baird by dangerous driving was read out at the High Court in Glasgow ,Phillips showed no emotion.
Judge Lady Stacey ordered background reports and continued his bail, but told Phillips: “Do not get your hopes up about the sentence.”
She deferred sentence until next month at the High Court in Glasgow.
Prosecutor Richard Goddard told the court that Phillips had previous convictions including one in 2015 for speeding for which he was fined £200 and given penalty points. He also has a conviction from 2005 for not wearing a seat belt.
The court heard that after the fatal crash he was off work for two months and left the company he had been working for – Brownriggs.
Phillips then got another job as driving when asked what it involved he replied: “Coach driving, just schools.” He claimed that the brakes on the Iveco bus were not working.
But experts from the DVSA and from an Iveco dealership, who examined the brakes, found no defects.
Phillips also disputed the tachograph evidence which showed he drove for considerable periods of the hour-long drive from Thornhill, Dumfries-shire, at 63mph and at one point at 73mph.
The speed limit for buses on the A76 is 50mph.
Members of Mr Baird’s family including his partner Sarah Hughes were too upset to comment as they left court.
Source : HeraldScotland