THE rector of Morrison’s Academy announced today it would launch its own investigation following the death of Anna Johnson.
Anna, who was a pupil at Morrison’s Academy, a private school in Crieff, is thought to have fallen from the bridge, which links Stirling with Cambusbarron.
Her body was spotted by a driver at around 7am on the northbound carriageway of the motorway west of the city, between junctions nine (Bannockburn) and ten (Craigforth).
Simon Pengelley, the school’s rector and principal, paid tribute to her in a statement, and confirmed the school would be undertaking its own investigation.
He said: “Morrison’s Academy confirms that it has been informed of the death of one of its pupils by Central Scotland Police.
“This tragic news has come as a shock to all members of the school and our hearts go out to the pupil’s family at this dreadful time.”
Mr Pengelley added: “All the staff and pupils at Morrison’s Academy are deeply saddened by the untimely death of Anna.
“She was a well-respected and popular pupil and our thoughts are with her family and friends during this sad time.
“Central Scotland Police are investigating Anna’s death and we would encourage anyone who may have witnessed the incident or have any information they may feel be of use to call them on 01786 456000.
“The school is committed to supporting the police during their investigation and we will be conducting our own internal investigations, therefore it would be inappropriate of us to provide any further comment at this time.
“Our immediate focus is to provide all the necessary support to Anna’s family, our pupils and their parents as well as our staff.”
Fellow pupils posted tributes on the Twitter social media website to the schoolgirl who is believed to be from Stirlingshire.
One said: “School is haunting today. Didn’t even know Anna but always remember seeing her up in art. Send shivers down my spine.”
Another said: “Such a sad assembly!”
One girl wrote: “Part of me doesn’t want to believe you’re gone, love you Anna:(“
A school friend posted: “Was just starting to get to know you as a lovely, beautiful girl. You will be hugely missed at Morrison’s.”
Another girl tweeted: “I hope you’re in a happier place now. My thoughts are with your family and friends. Such a beautiful girl.”
A male classmate added: “Can’t say I knew her very well but she sat right beside me in Spanish for the past 4 months..disbelief. In gods hands now.”
The northbound carriageway of the M9 was closed for some 17 hours after the discovery of the teenager’s body, re-opening shortly before midnight, with an incident tent erected by police at the scene.
Northbound traffic was diverted through Stirling, causing significant delays.
A contraflow was set up on the two-lane southbound carriageway on Tuesday afternoon in an effort to ease congestion during the rush hour.
Police tonight issued a further appeal for information from drivers about the incident.
Chief Inspector Gordon Dawson said: “We have had an excellent response from motorists and people who were in the area. As a result we are able to narrow the timescales and are keen to hear from anybody who was on the M9 or Birkhill Road bridge in Cambusbarron between 6.40am and 7am on Tuesday.
“In particular we want to speak to those who were driving on the M9 northbound between Junction 9 Bannockburn Interchange, which are the services at Stirling, and Birkhill Road bridge, which is the fourth in a series of bridges before Craigforth at Junction 10.
“The investigation into Anna’s death continues and we are undertaking a number of inquiries into the circumstances
Anna’s death comes two years after another Morrison’s pupil was killed on the A9, 20 miles to the north.
Elli Williams, 16, from Auchterarder, was hit by a car on the southbound carriageway of the road near the town in January 2011 after becoming separated from a group of friends late at night.
Morrison’s Academy, which was established in 1860, charges fees of up to £10,332 a year.
It has some 500 pupils, with past pupils including actors Ewan McGregor and Denis Lawson. McGregor’s father Jim was a teacher there.
• A man died on the A9 on Tuesday night after a crash between the car he was driving and a tanker lorry.
The collision happened north of Jubilee Bridge near Dunkeld at about 8.30pm.
The man, who is believed to be in his 20s, was the only occupant of the blue Renault Clio which was travelling north when it collided with the southbound tanker.
The 44-year-old man driving the lorry was not injured.