Anger over five-year wait for M9 death inquiry

The “glacial” delay in establishing a Fatal Accident Inquiry (FAI) into the M9 crash in which John Yuill and Lamara Bell died has been criticised five years on from the tragedy.

Lamara Bell who was in the car with John Yuill who died in a road accident near a junction with the M9 near Stirling

Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie is now calling for reform of the FAI system in Scotland over the hold-up.Mr Yuill, 28, and Ms Bell, 25, were returning from a camping trip in July 2015 when his Renault Clio came off the motorway near Stirling and crashed down an embankment into trees. The couple lay undiscovered for three days despite a 101 call being made by a member of the public to report the incident.It was only after a second call was made by someone else three days later that police attended. Mr Yuill is thought to have died at the scene of the crash. Ms Bell died in hospital four days after they were found.Mr Rennie said: “It is unforgivable that five years on from the M9 crash, the families and friends of Lamara and John are still waiting to find out what precisely happened. The wait has been glacial and agonising.“It has been five years since the accident. “The Crown Office has shown itself incapable of handling FAIs. It has let down too many families and public can’t have confidence in a system that routinely subjects people to these delays. It is therefore time to look at removing FAIs from its responsibilities. We need a comprehensive new system of checks and balances to drive the process forward.”A spokesman for the Crown Office said it has commmunicated with family members and their legal representatives throughout the case , and will continue to keep them informed.“COPFS progresses each investigation as expediently as it can,” he added.Extra staff, including lawyers have been taken to on to improve performance in the investigation of deaths.

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