Further report into M9 crash submitted to Lord Advocate

The scene on the M9 where the crash happened last July. Picture: Michael Gillen
The scene on the M9 where the crash happened last July. Picture: Michael Gillen

A report into the circumstances surrounding the crash which killed Lamara Bell and John Yuill on the M9 last year has been submitted to the Lord Advocate.

The Police Investigations & Review Commissioner (PIRC) has submitted a supplementary report on the incident which saw the couple from Camelon lie in their car in a field next to the M9 for three days before found by police.

John Yuill

John Yuill

This was despite a Police Scotland call centre receiving a call on the day of the fatal accident. Ms Bell (25) died three days later in hospital, while Mr Yuill (28) was found dead at the scene near Bannockburn on July 8, 2015.

The incident sparked a review into the role call centres played in the tragedy resulting in a pledge to keep three open until Bilston Glen and Govan had a full compliment of trained staff and the planned new control room in Dundee was fully operational.

The PIRC submitted an interim report to the Lord Advocate in November, which will now consider the findings in this further report before deciding what appropriate action should be taken.

A spokesman for the PIRC said: “The Commissioner’s investigators pursued numerous lines of enquiry, including why a telephone call made to Police Scotland on July 5, 2015, which reported a car off the road, was not followed up.

Lamara Bell

Lamara Bell

“The Commissioner also examined the procedures used by Police Scotland to log the particular call made on July 5, 2015.

“The investigation also looked at the robustness of Police Scotland’s missing person enquiry and why this was not linked with the information received in the telephone call.

“This has been an exhaustive investigation which has required many different facets of the incident to be fully explored. The Commissioner recognises that it has been a difficult period for the families of Mr Yuill and Ms Bell whilst the investigation has been ongoing and has appreciated the opportunities to keep them informed of progress through our family liaison support.

“The Lord Advocate will now consider the content of the Commissioner’s reports and it is a matter for them to decide what further action they consider to be appropriate.

“Their consideration will include whether to hold a fatal accident enquiry or institute criminal proceedings.

“The Commissioner will undertake further enquiries as required.”

Both families have issued statements in response to the supplementary report being submitted.

A statement on behalf of the Bell family said: “The past 11 months have been one of heartache for us all, especially for Lamara’s two children, Alysha and Kieran.

“However, the sincere wishes and support from the local community and beyond has helped us greatly with the grieving process.

“The pain of losing Lamara in such tragic circumstances will never go away, but with the completion of this supplementary report from the Police Investigations & Review Commissioner, we are another step closer to knowing what happened to Lamara and John on that fateful day.

“As we approach the anniversary of Lamara’s death next month we now request the media respect our privacy at this difficult time.”

A statement on behalf of the Yuill family said: “The Yuill family are pleased the supplementary report has been completed and that it will hopefully take us nearer to some insight or answers as to what happened with John and Lamara on July 5 last year.

“We would again ask for our privacy to be respected and to allow all those involved in the investigation to continue to do their jobs.”