THE devastated father who lost his wife and seven-year-old daughter in a horror crash in the Highlands has spoken of his “beautiful” little girl.
NHS Lothian occupational therapist Abigail Houston, 42, and seven-year-old Mia, from Trinity, died in the smash between two cars on the A9 near Kingussie on Monday.
Father Andrew, a solicitor advocate at McSporrans legal firm, was last night still in Inverness’ Raigmore Hospital in a serious but stable condition after suffering multiple injuries. The couple’s other daughter, Lily, is understood to have been transferred to the Sick Kids’ hospital in Edinburgh for treatment.
As calls continued to mount for the road to be upgraded, Police Scotland issued a statement on behalf of the badly-injured father. The statement said: “It is incredibly difficult to find the words to express the loss that we are feeling. Abigail was such a bright and vivacious woman who lived life to the full, adored her family and was greatly fulfilled through her work as a paediatric occupational therapist.
“Mia was a delightful and beautiful little girl who enjoyed school and activities, but most of all loved her family and friends. We ask that our privacy be respected so that we can focus on the recuperation of Mia’s sister and come to terms with our loss in peace.”
It came as Chief Superintendent David O’Connor questioned whether government plans to start upgrading the notorious road from Perth to Inverness into a dual carriageway from 2015-16 should be brought forward. And the call was echoed by Forth Ward councillor Allan Jackson, who said he had known the Houston family and felt for them given the “tragic” circumstances.
In an open letter, Chief Supt O’Connor said: “There have been other major capital investments made across Scotland for sound economic reasons. However, people are continuing to die and be seriously injured on the A9 with depressing frequency.Is this the case in some of the other projects? This needs to be looked at with fresh eyes and explored to see if it can be given a higher priority.”
Chief Supt O’Connor, who said he was a frequent user of the A9, added: “Perhaps the time has come to not only significantly increase the police enforcement activity specifically on the A9, but also adopt a zero tolerance to unlawful driver conduct in order to save lives. There may be other legislative measures to improve safety that can also be explored.
“I also believe that increased, highly visible police patrols of the A9 can help prevent road collisions and the death and serious injury that frequently arise.”
Chief Supt O’Connor said of the A9: “It’s a dangerous road – I try to avoid it. Having said that, it’s the drivers that are dangerous, but the road certainly doesn’t help. The sooner that gets dualled, the better.”
About 100 people have been killed on the 113-mile section of the A9 from Perth to Inverness since 2006. Monday’s fatal accident happened on a single carriageway section of the road between two sections that have overtaking lanes.
The Houston family’s Audi A4 is believed to have collided head on with a Jeep Cherokee 4X4 about 5.50pm.
A man, thought to be a German tourist who was in the Jeep, died at the scene. His wife is in a serious but stable condition in Raigmore Hospital.