[A] FOOTBALL agent has told jurors he is “truly, truly sorry” for causing an M6 crash which killed one highways worker and left another paralysed.
Peter Morrison, 37, is on trial at Carlisle Crown Court. He admits causing the death of Adam Gibb and accepts causing serious injury to Mr Gibb’s colleague, Paul Holroyd, by careless driving.
Both Mr Gibb, of Penrith, and Mr Holroyd, from Kirkby Stephen, were hit by Morrison’s southbound and out-of-control Mercedes 4×4 while they stood on the hard shoulder just south of Tebay last February watching two previously crashed vehicles being recovered.
Morrison’s vehicle had veered across the carriageway from lane three in wet and windy weather described by one motorist as “atrocious”
Jurors have heard Morrison – a former professional footballer – was travelling at an average 81mph for 23 miles before the fatal crash. He had also been involved in phone message exchanges with several other people, including footballers, sending one 96 seconds before impact.
But Morrison vehemently denies his driving was dangerous. Giving evidence today he refuted an allegation he was travelling at a “grossly excessive” speed at the time of the crash. He spoke of feeling “like I was on ice” and referred to a “gust of wind”; admitted that he “panicked” as he lost control at a speed he estimated as 60-65mph; and conceded he thought as he veered across the road: “My time is up.”
And he insisted he was not distracted in any way at the time of the fateful collision.
Asked by his lawyer, John Dye, how he felt about the incident, Morrison, of The Warke, Worsley, Manchester, told jurors from the witness box: “I don’t think words can describe how bad that has made me feel.
“However, anything I feel is nothing in terms of what the people to my right (in the public gallery) would feel.
“It has changed all our lives for the worse for ever.”
Asked if he had words for Mr Holroyd – who was left paralysed from the chest down and was present in court today – Morrison added: “No different. Exactly the same. Truly, truly sorry for everything it has caused for all the people involved.”
The trial continues.