Drunk motorist killed Alexandria lorry driver while twice over limit

Michael Hall was twice over the drink driving limit from the night before when he ploughed into Malcolm Easton’s lorry.

Malcolm Easton was killed when a BMW ploughed into his HGV.
Malcolm Easton was killed when a BMW ploughed into his HGV.

A drunk motorist who killed a lorry driver in a crash after losing control of his BMW at almost 90mph has been jailed.

Michael Hall, 38, was still twice over the drink limit from drinking the night before when the collision occurred on the M74 near Lesmahagow, Lanarkshire, around 6.30pm on May 2, 2019.

Hall struck the HGV driven by 42-year-old Malcolm Easton, from Alexandria, Dunbartonshire, as he tried to overtake it.

Mr Easton’s lorry jack-knifed as a result and plunged 40m down an embankment. He died at the scene from head injuries.

Judge Lord Braid told Hall: “You accelerated up to 89mph to overtake the lorry driven by Mr Easton when the driving conditions were treacherous.

“You braked and your vehicle spun hitting Mr Easton’s lorry which jack-knifed and went through a crash barrier and down a steep embankment. You were more than twice the drink driving limit.

“To overtake in such driving conditions was highly dangerous.”

Members of Mr Easton’s family were in court to see Hall sentenced. They had written victim statements to the judge expressing their devastating loss.

The court heard that Hall, a car sales manager from England, had driven from Leeds to Ayrshire after celebrating into the early hours Liverpool beating Barcelona.

His defence QC Ian Duguid said: “The alcohol was from the night before in celebration. He appreciates he should have been more vigilant. He thought he was well capable of driving.

“He shouldn’t have been driving at speed in the conditions. He says as he overtook the lorry, a deluge of water came into his carriageway from the opposite carriageway and he aquaplaned.

“He has expressed remorse. He told a social worker who interviewed him ‘I can’t mess up in my life that would be disrespectful to Mr Easton.”

Hall pled guilty to causing death by dangerous driving. He also admitted having 47mg of alcohol per 100ml of breath. The legal limit is 22mg.

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