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Student (18) and her two grandparents die in crash

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Lorraine Sweeney (left) and her granddaughter Erin McQuade (right) who were two of the six people killed when a bin lorry lost control, hitting Christmas shoppers in Glasgow.

Lorraine Sweeney (left) and her granddaughter Erin McQuade (right) who were two of the six people killed when a bin lorry lost control, hitting Christmas shoppers in Glasgow.

Lorraine Sweeney (left) and her granddaughter Erin McQuade (right) who were two of the six people killed when a bin lorry lost control, hitting Christmas shoppers in Glasgow.

Three members of the same family were among six people killed when a bin lorry lost control, hitting Christmas shoppers in Glasgow city centre.

Erin McQuade (18), her grandparents Jack Sweeney (68) and his wife Lorraine (69), all from Dumbarton, were killed in the incident.

Primary school teacher Stephenie Tait (29), from Glasgow, Jacqueline Morton (51), from Glasgow, and Gillian Ewing, (52) from Edinburgh also died in George Square.

Scotland First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said afterwards that the city had been left with a "broken heart" after the crash while the congregation at a special prayer service were told that Glasgow was now "united in grief".

Ten people were also injured in the accident. Six of them, including the driver of the bin lorry, are still being treated in Glasgow hospitals.

Cordons

George Square had been sealed off with steel cordons as police investigated the crash.

When those were lifted today, members of the public who had been touched by the incident went to the scene to leave tributes to the victims, whose bodies had been removed by a fleet of private ambulances.

It is thought the driver may have fallen ill at the wheel as he travelled up Queen Street, causing the bin lorry to strike a pedestrian outside the Gallery of Modern Art.

The truck continued, hitting several other people and came to a halt only when it crashed in to the side of Millennium Hotel in George Square.

Chief Superintendent Andy Bates said: "This is a tragic incident which occurred in the heart of Glasgow city centre at a time when people were preparing for the festive season.

"My thoughts are with the family and friends of those involved."

Mr Sweeney was a former president of Bramalea Celtic supporters club in Canada, with the club putting a statement on its Facebook page expressing "great shock and sadness" over the deaths.

Relative John Sweeney described himself as "feeling heartbroken'' on Facebook.

"No words can describe the pain. RIP Jack, Lorraine and Erin. Thoughts and prayers go out to the other families that lost loved ones as well,'' he wrote.

Miss McQuade was a student at Glasgow University and also worked at the luxury Cameron House Hotel on the banks of Loch Lomond, where she was described as "one of our brightest and dedicated members of housekeeping staff".

Ms Tait was a primary school teacher at St Philomena's Primary in Glasgow, where head teacher Catherine Gallagher said the "entire school community is deeply saddened by this tragic news".

"Stephenie was an excellent young teacher, dedicated to the children. Our thoughts and prayers are with her family and friends at this time," she added.

Ms Tait had studied at Glasgow University, whose Principal and Vice Chancellor Professor Anton Muscatelli said it was "deeply saddened" to learn of the death of one of its current students and a graduate.

At a prayer service held yesterday at the nearby St George's Tron Parish Church the Rev Stuart Smith, said the circumstances of the crash were "more sudden and shocking than we could have imagined possible if it wasn't for the evidence right here in front of us''.

Monday's tragedy struck just over 12 months after the Clutha Bar helicopter crash in Glasgow, which claimed the lives of 10 people when a police helicopter crashed on to the roof of a crowded pub last November.

hnews@herald.ie


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