A “PERFECT family” has been ripped apart after a horror smash killed a mother and daughter – and left the father and other daughter in hospital.
Abigail Houston and seven-year-old Mia, from Trinity, died at the crash scene on the notorious A9 between Newtonmore and Kingussie, in the Highlands, on Monday.
Dad Andrew, a solicitor advocate at a city legal firm, and the couple’s other daughter, Lily, were both seriously injured in the collision.
A man – thought to be a German tourist – travelling in the other vehicle was pronounced dead at the scene while his wife was also rushed to Raigmore Hospital in Inverness.
All three are said to have suffered multiple injuries and are in a “serious but stable condition”.
Neighbours in Trinity spoke of their disbelief after learning of the fatal smash.
One described them as a “perfect family” and said: “It is absolutely awful, we are all in shock. It is just so sad. I don’t think people can quite realise what has happened. The whole of Wardie Avenue is in shock.”
Another said it was “even more tragic” that it involved the children at the start of the school holidays.
He said: “You wouldn’t want it to happen to anyone but they are such a nice family. It makes it even worse that the wee girls were involved.”
The family was travelling in a blue Audi A4 when it was involved in a collision with a silver Jeep at about 5.50pm.
Three ambulances, four fire crews and an MoD helicopter were called to the scene just south of Ralia.
Police Scotland’s road policing unit closed the main road south to Perth from Inverness for several hours while investigations were carried out.
The couple, both in their 40s, are thought to have been on a working holiday at the time.
Mr Houston is a partner at McSporrans Criminal Defence and Road Traffic Lawyers, based in East London Street, where he has been since 2006, and his wife is understood to have worked as an occupational therapist for NHS Lothian.
Neither organisation was available for comment.
Calls have been made for the stretch of road to be turned into a dual carriageway following a number of fatal accidents there. In June last year, two men died in a collision between a van and a tourist bus from Edinburgh which had been travelling to the RockNess music festival.
The woman driving the bus, which was carrying 47 passengers, suffered serious injuries and was airlifted to hospital after being cut free by firefighters. Fourteen passengers were treated in Raigmore Hospital for injuries.
Highlands and Islands MSP and road safety campaigner David Stewart sent his sympathies to the families of the latest incident and wished those injured a speedy recovery.
But he said more needed to be done to stop yet more fatalities on the accident blackspot.
“Once more, families have been left grieving as a result of a collision on this route, which many describe as the route which is the backbone of Scotland’s road network, he said.
“This is not a time for political point scoring, and I acknowledge the additional measures and improvements that Transport Scotland have undertaken, but for me dualling the A9 between Perth and Inverness is the answer and waiting another 12 years for this to happen is just too long. The timeline for this work needs to be reduced dramatically.”
Police confirmed the circumstances surrounding the collision are still being investigated and a report will be submitted to the procurator fiscal.