A LORRY driver has admitted killing a Girvan gran in a horror smash which took place just over a year ago.

And a judge said that the grieving family of Mary Fulton had been given a “life sentence” following the guilty plea entered by John Dale.

Dale, who already had motoring convictions for careless and drink driving, ploughed head on into Mary's Skoda Yeti on the A77 near Girvan, in November 2017 and the 67 year-old died at the scene.

43-year-old Dale now faces a lengthy jail-term when he is sentenced in the New Year.

Lord Mulholland told him: “You have caused the death of a lady who was a mother and a gran.

“The family have been given a life sentence as a result of your driving.

“It would appear that she died almost instantly.”

Dale, of Greenock, Inverclyde, was remanded in custody meantime.

He worked with a haulage firm at the time of the tragedy. Prosecutors stated his “erratic” driving came to the attention of other motorists on the A77.

He went on to cross double white lines and into the opposite side of the road.

Dale initially collided with a car driven by an 85 year-old woman.

But, advocate depute Greg Farrell said “less than a second” later, Dale's Mercedes HGV hit Mary's Skoda.

He and other motorists raced out to help – but it soon became clear the Girvan gran was already dead.

Dale was then found to be “in shock” and “hyper-ventilating”.

He went on to tell another driver: “I did not see her.”

Euan Dow, defending, said Dale could “offer no explanation” as to what happened.

The court heard potential factors – such as being tired at the wheel or using a mobile – had been discounted.

Mr Dow added checks had also been made to find out whether Dale had any unknown medical issue.

But, the hearing was told this was also ruled out.

The advocate said Dale was aware “his conduct had resulted in an irretrievable loss” for Mary's relatives.

Dale admitted causing death by dangerous driving. Sentencing was deferred for reports.