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Fatal Accident Inquiry (FAI) into death of nursery teacher Chloe Morrison hit by lorry in Drumnadrochit to begin in April

By Alasdair Fraser

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Chloe Morrison.
Chloe Morrison.

A Fatal Accident Inquiry (FAI) will begin next month into the death of a nursery teacher struck by a lorry in Drumnadrochit.

Chloe Morrison was 26 years old when she was hit and killed by the Scania lorry's fully extended stabiliser as she walked with her mother along a pavement in the Loch Ness-side village on October 25, 2019.

The Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS) has lodged a First Notice to begin the court process for the FAI, which was announced in November last year.

Lorry driver John O’Donnell (53), who worked for Glenevin Ltd of Oldmeldrum, Aberdeenshire, stood trial at the High Court in Inverness in October 2022 for causing Miss Morrison’s death by careless driving.

He was found guilty and sentenced to 100 hours unpaid work and banned from driving for 12 months.

HIGH COURT: Uproar as Chloe Morrison's killer is sentenced to unpaid work

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Chloe Morrison and her dad Robert, mum Karen and sister Jodi.
Chloe Morrison and her dad Robert, mum Karen and sister Jodi.

A preliminary hearing for the FAI is set for April 18 at Inverness Sheriff Court.

The purpose of the court process is to determine the cause of death, the circumstances in which it occurred and to establish what, if any, precautions could have been taken to avoid it.

Unlike criminal proceedings, FAIs are inquisitorial in nature and are used to establish facts rather than to apportion blame with a view to preventing repeat tragedies.

The FAI will explore the circumstances of Miss Morrison’s death, with particular focus on the working arrangements within Glenevin Ltd for use of lorry mounted cranes by drivers who were not qualified so to do.

It will also examine the use of the outrigger legs by the Scania lorry between the time when it left Glenevin Ltd’s premises and the accident leading to the death.

The inquiry will also consider wider industry practice in respect of use of vehicles like the Scania lorry by unqualified drivers, the regulatory framework around the requirement for the retrofitting of ‘stabiliser not stowed’ warning systems, and the number of vehicles without such warning systems on the roads at the present time.

Chloe Morrison.
Chloe Morrison.

Procurator Fiscal Andy Shanks, who leads on death investigations for COPFS, said: “The tragic death of Chloe Morrison occurred in circumstances giving rise to significant public concern and as such a discretionary Fatal Accident Inquiry will be held.

“The lodging of the First Notice enables FAI proceedings to commence under the direction of the Sheriff.

“Chloe’s family will continue to be kept informed of significant developments as court proceedings progress.”

View our fact sheet on court reporting here

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