Death investigations

FAI court process begins for the death of heavy goods driver

The Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS) has lodged a First Notice to begin the court process for a Fatal Accident Inquiry (FAI) into the death of James Murray.

Mr Murray, 54, died following a road traffic accident near junction 1 of the M8 West Bound, Edinburgh on 23 August 2022 near Hermiston Gait roundabout when his trailer became unsettled causing both the trailer and lorry to fall. 

A Preliminary Hearing is set for 17 May 2024 at Edinburgh Sheriff Court.  

The Inquiry will be held on 9, 10 and 11 October 2024. 

The purpose of a Fatal Accident Inquiry (FAI) includes determining the cause of death; the circumstances in which the death occurred, and to establish what, if any, reasonable precautions could have been taken, and could be implemented in the future, to minimise the risk of future deaths in similar circumstances.       

Unlike criminal proceedings, FAIs are inquisitorial in nature, and are used to establish facts rather than to apportion blame.        

It is anticipated that the Inquiry will consider whether there were any defects in any system of working which contributed to the death.  

Procurator Fiscal Andy Shanks, who leads on death investigations for COPFS, said:        

“The death of James Murray occurred while in the course of his employment and as such a Fatal Accident Inquiry is mandatory.     

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

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