Family of mum killed in crash ‘gutted’ by driver’s jail sentence

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The driver responsible for the mum’s death, David Day, is diabetic and was spotted repeatedly drifting across lanes on the day of the tragedy. This prompted one concerned motorist to immediately dial 999. The 54-year-old from Dumfries eventually swerved onto the wrong side of the A75 near Eastriggs hitting Esme Henderson’s car.

He pleaded guilty to causing death by dangerous driving at a previous court hearing and was sentenced at Lanark on Wednesday.

However, the length of the jail term has been criticised by Esme’s family, the Daily Record reports. Her devastated husband Bruce said on social media: “I feel no real relief from the court’s decision, just sense of deep disappointment.”

“It’s been just over two years since Esme was killed on her way to work by David Day. Today in Lanark High Court he was sentenced to five years seven months but with reductions will serve four years four months. 

“No amount of jail time will fix what he has done. The shock and pain this man has caused and admitted to will be felt by me and my family, and her friends for a lifetime.”

Esme’s devastated daughter Joanne Anderson was left “absolutely gutted” by the sentence. She described it as “an insult” to her mum’s life and added: “Another blow and kick in the teeth for my family in this hellish two years.”

Esme, 55, never recovered having suffered a fatal neck injury in the smash on August 5 2020. It happened after Day was spotted “weaving all over the motorway” to the alarm of other drivers.

Day, of Dalskairth, Dumfries, had been diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in 2016. But, it emerged “concerns” were later raised by medics about how he managed his condition. An expert called to complete a report on Day suggested “on balance of probabilities” he had been suffering from low blood sugar levels at the time of the crash.

In addition to the jail sentence, the former taxi driver was banned from the road for seven years and 10 months.

Prosecutor Leanne McQuillan told the hearing last month how a number of motorists were alarmed by Day’s driving that afternoon.

One witness who saw him driving on the M6 northbound told police: “I don’t know if he is drunk, half asleep or having medical issues.”

Other drivers then noticed Day as he went onto the A75 including one who had to dodge being struck. One motorist, Niall Anderson, followed Day and watched him swerve onto the opposite side of the road.

Miss McQuillan said: “He collided head on with the oncoming car. This was the Nissan Qashqai driven by Esme Henderson.”

Day was said to have shown “no reactions whatsoever” to avoid the smash.

Esme died having suffered multiple injuries. Day was also hurt and had to be airlifted to hospital. He was quizzed by police in February 2021 and stated: “I am aware I was involved in a fatal road traffic collision. I have no recollection of this or the journey preceding.”

Miss McQullian told Lord Beckett about Day’s medical history. This included a number of hypoglycaemic (low blood sugar) episode being reported in the past. But, Miss McQuillan added Day’s “compliance” with managing his diabetes was “variable”. However, it was not possible to say what his blood sugar level was at the time of the crash as it had not been checked.

Day’s QC said the driver had “genuine sorrow and remorse” for what happened.

In his Facebook post this week, Esme’s husband Bruce thanked those who had been there for him and his family over the last two years.

He wrote: “It was much appreciated and will not be forgotten.

“Please spare a thought for Esme and remember the good times she brought to our lives. “Rest in peace my beautiful girl.”

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