Friday 15 December 2017

Police failure left woman in crashed car for three days with dead boyfriend

John Yuill and Lamara Bell, as fears that a couple involved in a crash in which one man died may have lain in a car for three days before being discovered have sparked an independent investigation Credit: Police Scotland/PA Wire
John Yuill and Lamara Bell, as fears that a couple involved in a crash in which one man died may have lain in a car for three days before being discovered have sparked an independent investigation Credit: Police Scotland/PA Wire

Kim Ripoll in Scotland

The family of a woman who lay injured in a car after a crash that killed her boyfriend have described their anger as it emerged police were told about the incident three days before the couple were found.

An investigation has been launched into the police failure to follow up a report of a car going off the road.

John Yuill (28) died in the crash and 25-year-old Lamara Bell was seriously injured.

The couple were reported missing after visiting Loch Earn, Stirlingshire, in a blue Renault Clio on Sunday.

Police in Scotland said the car was found when officers were called to the M9 near Stirling on Wednesday following a report that a Renault Clio was off the road.

Mr Yuill was pronounced dead at the scene while Ms Bell was taken to hospital in Glasgow where her condition was described as "very serious".

The force admitted they had received a report on Sunday morning about a car which was off the road, but it had not been followed up at the time.

Speaking to STV News yesterday, her father Andrew Bell said he was "so angry". Mr Bell said his daughter was conscious when found and was speaking to firefighters.

"She thought she had been there for 30 minutes," he added. He also revealed that on Sunday morning he had unknowingly driven by the spot where she was found.

Meanwhile, her mother Diane Bell told Sky News she was "really angry, annoyed (and) disgusted" at the situation. "She could have died there," she said.

Mr Yuill's father Gordon told the 'Daily Record': "It wouldn't have made any difference for John. His injuries were such that he died on impact. But I feel it may have made a difference for Lamara. My heart goes out to her family for that."

Friends of the couple have paid tribute on social media, describing Mr Yuill as a "great guy" and a "brilliant dad" and sending their thoughts to Ms Bell.

The crash site is close to the Bannockburn Interchange. At the scene yesterday, a temporary orange barrier sealed a gap in the fencing where, beyond, a patch of disturbed grass could be seen. Assistant Chief Constable Kate Thomson said: "It has come to light that a call was made to police late on Sunday morning regarding a car which was reported as being off the road. For reasons currently being investigated, that report was not followed up at the time."

The matter has been referred to the police investigations and review commissioner (Pirc) by the Crown Office.

Irish Independent

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