A boozy bus driver took passengers on a nightmare journey – and was so drunk he forgot what route he was on and had to get out and check.
Worried customers on board had to tackle Lewis Wotherspoon on his driving as he pulled over to look at the number on the front of his double-decker in Glasgow.
The 41-year-old was more than three times the legal limit when he took the First Bus on the three-mile danger drive through the city centre in October last year.
One witness told the Daily Record a passenger had been forced to pull on the hand brake when Wotherspoon abandoned the bus in Glasgow’s west end around half an hour after setting off, saying: “He put us in danger.”
This week he appeared at Glasgow Sheriff Court, where he admitted driving the bus with 77mg of alcohol in his breath when the limit is 22mg on October 26.
Sheriff Gillian Bryson banned Wotherspoon, from the city’s Calton area, from driving for 18 months and handed him a community payback order requiring 100 hours of unpaid work to be carried out.
He was also slapped with a £200 fine.
Witnesses said at the time of the incident how the driver appeared confused and unsteady on his feet when he argued with passengers over which bus he was driving after taking a series of wrong turns.
One woman, who was on the bus and does not want to be named, said Wotherspoon boarded the 60A on Duke Street to swap with another driver at around 1.50pm but was adamant he was driving a number 2 bus.
She said: “It wasn’t until he got off and looked at the front of the bus that he believed it was a 60A.
“At this point I turned around and said to one of the passengers ‘I think he’s under the influence’.”
“He was challenged that he was not fit to drive.”
The chaotic journey ended when the driver parked up on Argyle Street at around 2.20pm and left the passengers stranded on the bus.
The passenger said: “He got out of the cab and exited the bus but it was still moving because he hadn’t engaged the hand brake.
“One of the passengers had to stop the bus from rolling forward into the cars.
“The driver then jumped back on, grabbed a bottle of water from his bag and ran off again.
“We were lucky we didn’t hit anything or anyone.
“There were lots of older people on that bus who were very shaken up. He put people in danger.
“One of the passengers got off and ran over to police. We couldn’t believe it.”
First Bus staff then arrived on the scene and the passengers were asked to remain on the bus to give statements to police.
Tim Bill, who was visiting a friend who works in a bar across the road, said there were about “three or four police cars and 10 officers” at the scene when he arrived.
Police Scotland confirmed they had made an arrest that day while First Bus released a statement saying an investigation had been launched, stressing that safety is the firm’s “number one priority”.
First Bus confirmed that Wotherspoon had been immediately suspended over the incident but resigned before facing disciplinary proceedings.
A company spokesman said: “I can confirm that Mr Lewis Wotherspoon was immediately suspended following this incident pending formal disciplinary procedures, but he resigned before the outcome of this process and no longer works for First Glasgow.”
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