The family of a road crash victim have urged a judge not to lock up the driver guilty of his death.

Jay Morrison, 19, lost his life after his Vauxhall Corsa spun out of control before smashing into a lamp-post.

Bill McKenzie, 21, admitted to a charge of causing death by careless driving following the tragedy in Pollok, Glasgow on 17th September 2021.

In a rare move – described as “extraordinarily compassionate” – Jay’s relatives have asked judge Lady Poole to show leniency towards McKenzie.

Advocate Depute Gavin Dewar told the hearing at the High Court in Glasgow that their suffering following the death has been “incalculable”.

But, he added Jay’s driving that night – undertaking McKenzie at one stage – also “fell below the standards” to be expected.

Mr Dewar: “Although they continue to grieve, Mr Morrison’s family are also realistic about – and acknowledge – the significant part that his actions played in bringing about this tragedy.

“They are keen that no further pain is caused to anyone else involved as a result of the death.

“While sentencing is always discretionary for the judge, the Crown, perhaps unusually, respectfully invites your Ladyship to have regard for the views of the next of kin when considering the appropriate disposal in this most upsetting case.

“Mr Morrison’s family wish it to be said that they do not wish to see Mr McKenzie imprisoned for his role in what happened.”

Heating engineer McKenzie, of Barrhead, East Renfrewshire, had his bail continued and will learn his fate later this month.

The crash occurred on the A726 Nitshill Road near to Levern Bridge Road in Pollok.

There were roadworks in the area at the time.

Mr Dewar told how both McKenzie and Jay – who had each relatively recently passed their driving tests – were initially in the same lane.

The prosecutor: “Jay Morrison undertook McKenzie. They drew level with each other with Jay Morrison now in another lane.

“He was gesticulating at McKenzie and his two passengers.

“McKenzie accelerated to keep pace.”

The charge stated McKenzie – who was also behind the wheel of a Vauxhall Corsa – drove in excess of the speed limit and in “close proximity” of Jay.

He then braked to allow Jay to come back into the same lane and get by the roadworks.

But, seconds later, Jay lost control, his car spun and initially hit the kerb.

The vehicle then smacked into a bus stop, ploughed into a grass verge and collided with a lamp-post, which fell onto the roof of the Corsa.

One of McKenzie’s passengers dialled 999.

Two police officers arrived and helped Jay get out of his car.

They performed CPR until paramedics turned up. Jay was then rushed to hospital, but died the next day due to a fatal head injury.

The court heard the teenager was a “much loved son, brother and friend”.

Prosecutor Mr Dewar said Jay’s father also wanted to pay tribute to the two officers at the scene.

Mr Dewar: “That early medical assistance resulted in Jay Morrison surviving long enough for his close family to be able to travel and be with him when he passed away.”

The court was told McKenzie was a first offender. He had initially been due to stand trial accused of causing death by dangerous driving.

His KC Thomas Ross stated: “Before he knew anything of the extraordinary and compassionate sentiments expressed by Mr Morrison’s family, he instructed me to apologise to them for the suffering caused by his actions.”

Sentencing was deferred for reports.

Headline image: Jay Morrison lost his life after his Vauxhall Corsa spun out of control
Photo Credit: Issued by Police Scotland

By Grant McCabe

Renfrewshire News Court Reporter

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *