Family of teen killed in road rage smash urge judge not to jail young driver responsible

The devastated family of a teen who lost his life in a road rage incident have urged a judge not to jail the young driver responsible.

Jay Morrison, 19, died when his car spun out of control and smashed into a lamp-post following an argument with Bill McKenzie, 21 who was speeding in another car.

Heating engineer McKenzie was last week convicted of causing Jay’s death by ­careless driving. But the victim’s parents accept their son’s role in the incident and believe a jail term would just inflict more pain.

Both young men had recently passed their driving tests when the crash unfolded in Pollok, Glasgow, in September 2021. Jay undertook McKenzie in his Vauxhall Corsa and began gesticulating to him and his two passengers.

Glasgow High Court heard McKenzie, of ­Barrhead, Renfrewshire – who was also behind the wheel of a Vauxhall Corsa – then drove in excess of the speed limit and in “close proximity” of Jay. He braked to allow Jay to come back into the same lane and get by temporary roadworks.

But seconds later Jay, also from Barrhead, lost control and his car spun and hit the kerb.The vehicle then smacked into a bus stop, ploughed into a verge and collided with a ­lamp-post, which fell on to the Corsa’s roof.

In a rare move, Jay’s family appealed to judge Lady Poole to show leniency towards McKenzie so “no further pain is caused” following the teen’s tragic death.

Advocate Depute Gavin Dewar said: “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.”

“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 no further pain is caused to anyone else involved as a result of the death.”

During the hearing at the High Court in Glasgow last week, Mr Dewar said that Jay’s family’s suffering has been ­“incalculable” but added that Jay’s driving that night also “fell below the standards” expected.

The crash occurred on the A726 Nitshill Road near to Levern Bridge Road in Pollok in September 2021.

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

McKenzie’s KC Thomas Ross stated: “He instructed me to apologise to them for the suffering caused.”

McKenzie is due to be sentenced later this month. Lucy Straker, campaign manager at charity Brake, said: “It is ­incredibly sad to see more young people killed on our roads.

“In 2022, nearly 5000 people were killed or seriously injured in a crash involving a driver aged between 17 and 24 years old.

“That is why we are calling for a graduated driving license system.”

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