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Fatal collision which killed Edinburgh taxi driver was due to fatigue after gruelling shift

9 Aug 2019

 

An Edinburgh taxi driver who died following a head-on collision caused when he drove down a slip road the wrong way was due to fatigue, a sheriff has determined.
 

John Nisbet, 72, had just completed a 13-hour shift when he drove into oncoming traffic on the A1 near Wallyford, East Lothian.

Mr Nisbet suffered fatal injuries from the collision which took place in November 2016. 

 

The pensioner, from Edinburgh, smashed head-on with a Peugeot Boxer vehicle between the Old Craighall and Wallyford junctions of the A1. 

As reported in the Edinburgh Evening News, a fatal collision investigation determined that Mr Nisbet had become disorientated due to tiredness. 

 

Sheriff Michael O'Grady QC wrote in his final determination: "Mr Nisbet had for many years worked as a taxi driver and, despite his age, continued to do so.

"On this particular evening he was working a long shift. Although he had a break that evening, going home for a meal, he was observed by his wife at that stage to be tired which, given his age and his working hours that day is unsurprising.

"Mr Nisbet drove his vehicle down what was in fact the off slip road on the motorway. In so doing he inevitably emerged from that slip road to find himself facing north on the southbound carriageway, that is to say, facing the wrong way towards oncoming traffic.

"It was in that context that the collision took place and in the circumstances such a collision was almost inevitable.

"Mr Nisbet was a hardworking and experienced driver and why such an incident should occur has inevitably to be a matter of inference.

"On the available evidence however police investigators have, in my view correctly, been forced to the conclusion that the deceased was suffering from fatigue and that his perception of the road layout and his judgement were thereby impaired; he simply made a mistake when he was tired.

"The sole cause of the collision was driver fatigue; the danger of this is well-known to professional and non-professional drivers alike and indeed is regularly seen in admonitions on motorway signs, service stations and indeed, in many cases, even on computerised driver displays with in cars."

Mr Nisbet's son Eddie, paid tribute to his father, saying: "It goes without saying that as a family we are utterly heartbroken by my father's recent passing.

"The warmth, humour, generosity and compassion that John brought to the lives of his family and friends is truly immeasurable. His loss has left a void that will be impossible to fill.

"His doting wife, Gaye, will forever cherish their 32 years of marriage after falling in love at first sight. He was her hero, her best friend and ultimately her life - her heart will forever belong to him.

"A huge personality in golfing, taxi driving and snooker circles across the city, he left an indelible mark on a vast amount of people.

"We have been overwhelmed by the depth of sentiment that has been expressed to us over the past days. We are now getting a true feel for just how popular and well-loved he is, which has offered us a huge amount of comfort." 

 

Image: Source; Police Scotland 

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