Man jailed over double-death crash

A driver who ploughed his car into a van, killing two young men, as he reached out to grab his phone has been sent to prison for six years.

As Hugh Cowie reached over to pick up the mobile, his car swerved across the road in Lanarkshire and slammed into a van with Jonathan Laughran and James Easton, both 24, in the vehicle.

Both young men died of their injuries following the collision on the A752 Coatbridge Road in Gartcosh.

Offshore worker Cowie, 50, was found guilty by a jury at the High Court in Glasgow of causing the deaths of Mr Laughran, from Airdrie, and Mr Easton, of Coatbridge, by dangerous driving.

Passing sentence at the High Court in Edinburgh, judge Lady Stacey told Cowie his driving fell far below the standard of a competent and careful driver.

She added: "They were two young men, going about their work, whose untimely deaths have caused devastation to their families and to their friends."

Mr Laughran's father, Colin Laughran, later said he would never be able to forgive Cowie and added: "This has absolutely destroyed my family."

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