The Sunday Post has had the main picture you see here in our possession since a few minutes after the bin lorry tragedy in Glasgow’s George Square.
At the time, we chose not to use the image. It would have been wrong to do so.
As our readers would expect, we acted responsibly and sensitively in the same manner all our competitor newspapers did at that terrible time.
We decided there was a risk of adding to the raw grief of the victims’ families by publishing a picture, that we had exclusively, which showed the driver of the lorry, Harry Clarke, unconscious at the wheel.
However, the images here significantly add to the understanding of what happened on that day.
Newspapers exist to bring clarity and to explain to their readers what happened. The friends and relatives of the victims also deserve to know exactly what happened. Indeed, there have been persistent calls for more information
We knew Mr Clarke’s identity within days of the tragedy. However, we chose not to publish any of his details or this picture in order to not cause any distress.
Today we have decided to reveal the photograph, after careful editorial consideration, to underline and support Mr Clarke’s assertion that he knows nothing about the tragedy.
The timing is right and we needed to wait until Mr Clarke had recovered and was ready to tell his story.
The images add weight to claims the 57-year-old made in an interview last week that he was unconscious when the truck ran out of control, killing six shoppers and injuring several more.
Our main image shows passers-by rushing to the aid of a cabbie while Mr Clarke is slumped at his wheel after ploughing into the wall of a hotel.
The father-of-one’s identity was first disclosed by The Herald newspaper two weeks ago.
Since then he has revealed he’s been diagnosed with a heart condition.
The worker who had a long and exemplary record as a driver said in an interview that he knows “a lot of people want to know what happened that day”.
However he added: “I wish I could tell you but I can’t. I just want all of the families of the injured and deceased to know I can’t remember anything.
“I wish I could but I was unconscious.”
The member of the public who took this picture and passed it to us said, in his opinion, it clearly shows Mr Clarke was unconscious at the time of the incident.
He said: “You could see he was completely out cold.”
The series of snaps were taken in the chaotic first few seconds after the lorry hit the Millennium Hotel in December. Its main headlamps are still on while in another heartbreaking shot one of Mr Clarke’s clearly-distraught colleagues is being comforted, slumped against a wall.
The passer-by who took the photographs said it was a scene he’ll never forget.
The Crown Office is expected to make a decision on the case by the end of the month.
But the full facts may not be known for some time. Fatal accident inquiries can sometimes take several years.
Erin McQuade, 18, and grandparents Lorraine Sweeney, 69, and Jack Sweeney, 68, all from Dumbarton, West Dunbartonshire, Gillian Ewing, 52, from Edinburgh, and Stephenie Tait, 29, and Jacqueline Morton, 51, both from Glasgow, lost their lives in the accident.
Last week, family members of those killed offered their support to Mr Clarke, who is recovering from the accident at home with daughter Karen, 32.
An un-named cousin of victim Erin McQuade has said: “I hope he can get on with his life.”
Marc Gardiner, a nephew of Jack Sweeney, added: “I hope he is recovering okay and I hope mentally he is doing good also. It’s a horrible thing to have to live with.”