Terror of revellers travelling to RockNess as two killed in A9 crash
TWO men were killed today in a crash between a van and a bus taking people from Edinburgh to this weekend’s RockNess music festival near Inverness.
The van driver and his passenger died following the collision on the A9, the main road between the Central Belt and the Highlands. The female driver of the bus had to be cut free and was airlifted to the Southern General Hospital in Glasgow.
Fourteen passengers on the bus were taken to Raigmore Hospital in Inverness for treatment to a range of injuries, none of which are life-threatening. Four passengers received treatment at the scene.
Northern Constabulary said there were 47 people on board the service bus from Edinburgh, which was bound for the three-day festival in Dores, on the banks of Loch Ness.
Emergency services were called to the accident on a stretch of single carriageway between at Ralia, near Newtonmore, around 3:45pm.
Last night, police said they could not comment on whether the two vehicles were travelling in opposite directions.
The road was expected to be closed until midnight while police carried out an investigation.
The crash came hours after police named the two lorry drivers who died in a head-on collision on the A9 north of Blair Atholl last Friday as Alex Russell, 37, of Moodiesburn in North Lanarkshire, and John Sommerville, 34, of Carluke in South Lanarkshire.
On the first day of the RockNess festival last June, a woman died after a head-on crash on the A9 north of Dunkeld.
Figures show the road had the highest fatality rate in Scotland between 2004 and 2008, and between 2004 and 2010 there were 88 deaths.
The combination of single and dual carriageway sections along the road have been blamed for many crashes, which average around 200 each year.
Last night, Jamie McGrigor, Conservative MSP for the Highlands and Islands, who has campaigned for the A9 to be upgraded to a dual carriageway, called on the Scottish Government to take more urgent action.
Ministers have pledged to complete the Perth-Inverness stretch by 2025.
He said: “This is another sickening tragedy and the carnage is likely to continue until the SNP honour their pledge to dual the A9. Until this happens we will continue to see far too many tragedies.”
The crash was one of two within minutes of each other on the A9, causing long tailbacks. The other collision, involving four cars, happened at Auchterarder in Perthshire.
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Weather for Edinburgh
Sunday 19 May 2013
Temperature: 9 C to 16 C
Wind Speed: 7 mph
Wind direction: North east
Temperature: 9 C to 20 C
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