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Family of man who died in M8 crash call for inquiry

Wayne Strickland's family says a lack of signs on the road led to his death.

Crash: Wayne Strickland was on his way to work.
Crash: Wayne Strickland was on his way to work.

The family of a driver who was killed in a crash on the M8 are seeking an inquiry into his death, saying a lack of signs led to the fatal collision.

Wayne Strickland died after a van collided with his Peugeot near Livingston in West Lothian in July 2015.

On Wednesday, the driver of the van appeared at the High Court in Glasgow to be sentenced for causing death by careless driving.

Alexander Cassidy was spared a prison sentence, with the judge noting Mr Strickland's family bore "no malice" towards him.

Cassidy's van ran into the back of Mr Strickland's car, causing it to hit another vehicle in front and leaving him trapped in the Peugeot which burst into flames.

Mr Strickland's wife Bernadette said motorists were not warned that roadworks would lead to slow-moving traffic on the inside lane of the motorway on the day of the crash.

She told STV News: "There were traffic lights on the slip road, drivers weren't warned before that there were roadworks.

"It should have said 'if you're going to Glasgow, get in the fast lane now'."

Mrs Strickland said the family had contacted Transport Scotland to establish why there were no signs but so far had not received answers.

She said the Scottish Government agency had failed to investigate the incident.

"It's been nearly two years and still no answers," Mrs Strickland said. 

"I don't want this to happen to anyone else. It could have been prevented.

"There's a great deal of responsibility on drivers, as there should be, but there also has to be responsibility on Transport Scotland to ensure roads are safe. They clearly weren't that day."

'I wouldn't have wanted him to have a jail sentence.'
Bernadette Strickland

Mrs Strickland said she would not have wanted to see Cassidy jailed for his role in the crash.

"I wouldn't have wanted him to have a jail sentence, he said it was an accident," she said.

"The accident was caused because drivers weren't warned."

Mr Strickland's family have instructed lawyers to submit a formal request for a fatal accident inquiry (FAI) from the Crown Office.

If the request is approved by Crown counsel, it would mean a public inquiry before a sheriff would take place.

The 49-year-old father of six was on his way to work as a business adviser when the crash took place.

A statement from the Strickland family said: "All the recent evidence we have heard from drivers caught up in the accident state that the lack of signage in relation to the traffic lights and roadworks on the A899 led to an unexpected hazard for drivers, particularly those headed to Glasgow who were not directed to use the outside lane in order to avoid the stopping and starting traffic accessing the slip road.

"Nothing can change what has happened to Wayne or ameliorate the loss we have suffered but if asking for a fatal accident inquiry prevents a similar tragedy then we believe it is worth pursuing."

The traffic lights were in place due to local authority roadworks. It is understood the request for an FAI is yet to be received by Crown Office lawyers.

A Scottish Government spokeswoman said: "Safety is an absolute priority for Transport Scotland and any accident is one too many.

"The lord advocate is responsible for the investigation of deaths in Scotland.

"As such, it is a matter for Crown Office to decide independently whether or not to call a Fatal Accident Inquiry."

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