Driver of unsafe car jailed for killing OAP on Fife road

A driver who killed a Fife pensioner while on the phone and behind the wheel of a faulty car has been jailed for three years.
Gall hit the pensioner near Asda.Gall hit the pensioner near Asda.
Gall hit the pensioner near Asda.

William Gall ploughed into Thomas Beall shortly after the frail 81 year-old had left a supermarket on November 12, 2018.

The headlights of the 24 year-old's Ford Focus were not working and its battery had very low power at the time.

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But, Gall continued driving and eventually hit Thomas as he crossed the road in Kirkcaldy.

The OAP never survived after suffering brain damage as well as fractures to both legs and his pelvis.

Dad-of-three Gall was sentenced at the High Court in Glasgow having earlier admitted to a charge of causing death by dangerous driving.

Lord Matthews told him: "You were well aware that the headlights were out.

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"Your vehicle had bulbs not suitable for the car, which you had secured with cardboard.

"Your dashboard was not working, so you could not see how fast you were going."

Pizza delivery driver Gall, of Dunfermline, Fife, was also banned from the road for six and a half years.

A previous hearing was told Gall had agreed to give a friend a lift shortly before the fatal collision.

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When they arrived, Gall had to charge his car's battery using another man's moped.

He headed to Kirkcaldy with two passengers – before "several warning lamps" lit up on his dashboard.

Gall stated: "That's the battery playing up again."

He then called another friend while driving putting the phone on loud speaker.

The car's headlights soon went out leading to warnings from other concerned motorists.

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Gall told a passenger: "I know - I've got my sidelights on."

Pensioner Thomas - who used a walking aid - had just left Asda meantime.

He was at a pelican crossing around 8.30pm as Gall headed towards the area.

Gall again ignored another motorist’s worries about his lack of lights.

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One of his passengers suddenly spotted Thomas crossing the road.

Prosecutor Mark Mohammed said: "He shouted to Gall: 'William, look up' as he was looking at his dashboard and talking on his mobile phone."

Gall slammed on the brakes, but hit the OAP, who was hurled into the air.

A man rushed to help and quizzed Gall on why he had no headlights on.

Gall claimed his battery was "knackered".

Thomas was rushed to hospital, but never recovered.

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Crash investigators later concluded the Ford's battery "was not capable of powering the vehicle".

It had also been fitted with bulbs not designed to be used in such a car.

The lack of battery power meant the bulbs could not work properly.

Jim Keegan QC, defending, said: "The upshot is that he made a bad decision and continued driving a vehicle that should not have been on the road."