Police recover father and son from River Clyde

Christopher Groves, 38 and his son Connor, nine. Picture: PA
Christopher Groves, 38 and his son Connor, nine. Picture: PA
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A FATHER and his nine-year-old son who died when their car crashed off a road into the River Clyde were named by police last night.

Christopher Groves, 38, and his son Connor, from Blantyre, died in the accident on the A725 near the Raith interchange, South Lanarkshire, at around 11:15am on Saturday.

Their blue Honda S2000 was travelling south from Whistleberry Toll towards East Kilbride when it left the road and went into the river.

Emergency crews raced to the scene but police divers removed Mr Groves and his son from the car and they were pronounced dead 40 minutes after the accident on the A725 at Bothwell Bridge, Lanarkshire.

A Police Scotland spokeswoman said: “A search of the area and water took place, and a short time later two people were removed from a vehicle in the water.

“Sadly, one man aged 38 years and a boy aged nine years were pronounced dead at the scene.”

Police also confirmed that the incident is not being treated as suspicious and that no other vehicles were involved.

Sergeant John Tait, of Road Policing at Motherwell, said: “At present we have identified one witness who has observed the events at the time of the vehicle leaving the carriageway and we are satisfied that no other vehicles were involved.

“This has been a tragic road traffic collision and our thoughts are with the family at this sad time.

“I would appeal to anyone else who was travelling on the A725 close to the Whirlies Roundabout near to Raith Interchange around 11:15am on Saturday and witnessed this incident to come forward.”

The road was shut for six hours while rescuers used boats and a crane to recover the wrecked vehicle from the river around mid-afternoon, when it was covered with a tarpaulin.

The road, which is the main route to East Kilbride, was closed until 5:40pm.

Council worker John McQuaid, who was in the area with colleagues working on a pavement repair when the accident happened, said poor visibility created terrible driving conditions.

“The sun was very low, it was really bright, you couldn’t see,” he said.

Stewart Logan, 75, of Bothwell, told how he saw emergency services at the scene.

He said: “I saw the police helicopter hovering in the area of the Raith roundabout and later heard lots of sirens.

“I later heard the whole road had been shut off with the road heading towards Blantyre and East Kilbride being closed altogether.

“When I passed the area on the Bothwell Bridge later in the afternoon, I saw a pick-up truck with a lifting mechanism had been brought in.

“It’s an awful tragedy and hard to believe a car could have gone right off the road and into the Clyde.

“That stretch of road does have a lot of traffic on it and anyone coming through the roundabout and heading to Blantyre can maintain a reasonable speed as it is a slip road.”

The Raith Interchange is set to be overhauled as part of a £415 million programme of works.

The project is due to be completed in 2017 and includes improvements to the Raith Interchange and widening of key sections of the M8, M73 and M74.

Improvements to the Interchange include realignment of the A725 and the construction of an underpass and bridges.