Willie Rennie joins calls for fatal accident inquiry into M9 deaths

Junction 9 of the M9 where the car of John Yuill, 28, and Lamara Bell, 25, was found. Photograph: Michael Gillen
Junction 9 of the M9 where the car of John Yuill, 28, and Lamara Bell, 25, was found. Photograph: Michael Gillen
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Scottish Lib Dem leader Willie Rennie has written to Scotland’s most senior law officer urging him to ensure a Fatal Accident Inquiry (FAI) into the M9 crash is conducted as soon as possible.

Rennie has written to the Lord Advocate three years after the deaths of John Yuill, 28 and Lamara Bell, 25, on the M9 in July 2015. 

Fresh demands have been made for an investigation into the accident, which aroused huge controversy because police failed to respond to reports their car had crashed. The couple lay undiscovered in their car following the accident on the motorway for three days, despite the incident being reported to Police Scotland at the time.

Three years after the crash, Rennie has called for an FAI to be held “at the earliest opportunity”.

In his letter to Lord Advocate James Wolffe, QC, Rennie insisted an inquiry is needed to prevent a repeat of the “tragic incident”.

READ MORE: Nicola Sturgeon: ‘M9 crash deaths lowest point of my career’

Wolffe has already made it known that he wants the incident to be “investigated thoroughly”.

But Rennie said the families of Bell and Yuill had “waited too long already” to find out what happened.

He said: “It has now been three years since this tragic incident. Their families, the police and the public need answers. They have waited for too long already.

“It is critical lessons are learnt and we need a full FAI into these events to provide clarity and help prevent it ever happening again.”

He told the Lord Advocate: “I appreciate that this case needs to be fully investigated. However, I would urge you to ensure that this process is being completed as soon as possible to allow for an FAI to be triggered at the earliest opportunity.”

When former lord advocate Frank Mulholland, QC, stepped down from the post in 2016, he had already said he would expect an FAI into the deaths to be held, given the level of public concern over the case.

In an earlier letter to the Lib Dem leader, Wolffe said: “Like my predecessor, I consider it inconceivable that a fatal accident inquiry will not be held given the public concern over this tragedy.”

A Crown Office spokeswoman said: “Progress continues to be made on the investigation into the incident on the M9.”