A taxi driver died after his car was struck head on by a speeding motorist.

Edward Cullen, 55, was hit by Scott Gilligan, 35, on the A736, Barrhead, East Renfrewshire, on 14th June 2021.

Mr Cullen’s vehicle then collided with pedestrian Margaret Mansell, 60, propelling her into the air.

Miss Mansell – a widow – landed in a hedge and suffered serious injuries including fractured ribs as well as kidney damage.

Mr Cullen had only returned to work having suffered a heart attack in the previous October.

The married dad died from his chest injuries in September 2021 with heart disease being a potential contributing cause.

Gilligan pled guilty at the High Court in Glasgow to causing serious injury and death by dangerous driving.

Gilligan, of Paisley, also admitted today driving without insurance for the vehicle.

Mr Cullen’s wife Margaret stated: “Eddie was my future and I cannot see a future now.

“[Gilligan] has taken all my future memories and happiness away. I will never be the same person.”

The court heard Mr Cullen was driving his Skoda Octavia taxi normally and within the speed limit at the time.

Miss Mansell was walking on the pavement as part of her regular routine.

Prosecutor Margaret Barron said: “Witnesses behind Mr Cullen’s car saw Gilligan’s vehicle enter their lane at a bend on the road.

“He drove at speed, before colliding head on with Mr Cullen’s vehicle.

“The collision caused Mr Cullen’s vehicle to strike Miss Mansell.

“She propelled over or through a hedge into the adjacent field out of view of the road.

“She cannot recall being struck but rather suddenly finding herself looking up at the sky from an adjacent bit of grass land.”

Emergency services were attended and pulled Miss Mansell out of the hedge before being taken to hospital.

Mr Cullen meantime was found trapped inside the driver’s seat of the taxi – he was conscious and breathing.

He was unable to remove himself due to his injuries and damage to the vehicle.

Mr Cullen was able to tell police that he was in pain and that he had “not long started back” work following a heart operation.

Gilligan was described as being confused at the scene and asked what had happened.

He provided a negative sample for alcohol and drugs in his system.

An investigation determined that Gilligan had driven at 69 miles per hour and straddled the white lines before the collision.

No defects were found in either the Vauxhall Insignia Gilligan has driven or Mr Cullen’s taxi.

Miss Mansell suffered a number of injuries including splenic bruising, tissue damage to the left kidney, a collapsed lung as well as a fractured forearm and ribs.

Miss Mansell’s right kidney no longer functions and will require to visit her GP twice a year for monitoring.

The hearing was also told that her daily life has been affected by her injuries and still experiences pain.

Mr Cullen sustained fractures to his breast bone, ribs, lower back and right foot.

He also suffered a damaged spleen and a neck bone break.

Miss Barron added: “He had ongoing issues with ICU acquired weakness and also had marked evidence of ongoing respiratory disease following prolonged ventilation and numerous ventilator associated pneumonia episodes.

“He always remained weak despite best attempts at physiotherapy and feeding.”

After three months, Mr Cullen’s condition deteriorated and further invasive ventilation was decided against.

He passed away in hospital on 10th September with his family at his bedside.

His cause of death was primarily determined as “complications from chest injuries due to road traffic collision.”

A potential contributing cause was “ischaemic heart disease.”

It was revealed Gilligan has seven previous convictions including a number of road traffic matters.

Robert Mitchell, defending, said: “He is aware a custodial sentence is inevitable now.”

Sentence was deferred pending background reports by Judge Lady Stacey until next month who remanded Gilligan in custody meantime.

She said: “I’m sure you know your dangerous driving that day had catastrophic consequences.

“You yourself were injured but the catastrophe is Mr Cullen died and Miss Mansell was very seriously injured.

“That has consequences for the two families in future – it is a very serious crime and as your lawyer advised a custodial sentence is inevitable.”

By Ricky Kelly

Main writer for Renfrewshire News

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