Stonehaven train crash: Sister of train driver blames ScotRail bosses for his death
Salina McCullough questioned why her brother, Brett, had been sent out to drive a train just hours after one of the worst storms ever to hit Scotland and vowed that she would take legal action over the incident, which killed two other people.
The 6.38am Aberdeen to Glasgow Queen Street service derailed on Wednesday morning amid heavy rain and flooding.
The train’s conductor, Donald Dinnie, and a passenger, Christopher Stuchbury, were also killed in the crash.
ScotRail announced today that a minute’s silence will be held to remember the victims of the disaster on Wednesday – a week after the accident occurred.
Speaking to the Mail on Sunday, Ms McCullough said: “They killed him – not the landslide, I know it in my heart. During one of the worst storms to hit Scotland, they sent my brother out to drive a beast of a train, for only six passengers.
“I wish Brett had refused, but that wasn’t in his nature. He would never let anyone down. Someone needs to be in jail for this, I won’t stop fighting for it.”
She added in a direct message to the rail company: “I am holding you responsible for my brother’s death. Someone needs to be in jail for this – I won’t stop fighting for that, as long as I have breath in my body.”
Initial findings by the Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB) show that after passing through Stonehaven, the train was stopped at Carmont, when the signaller sent a radio warning about a landslip farther south.
Mr McCullough was instructed to turn back towards Aberdeen but had travelled just over a mile when the train struck a landslip covering the northbound line and derailed.
Ms McCullough said: “I hear he was instructed by management to turn back, after coming close to a landslide, but was then told to take another route, which ultimately led him to his death in the most horrific way.
“Why wasn’t he instructed to remain in place until help arrived? You need to come up with an honest answer. I don’t know who is responsible for those decisions, yet, I’m sure you are being protected. But you’ll not be able to hide out for ever. We will be taking you down, it’s just a matter of time.”
A one minute’s silence will be held across the country on Wednesday to mark one week since the Stonehaven derailment.
The mark of respect will be held at all stations in Scotland at 09.43 – the time the crash was reported last week. Many stations elsewhere in Britain, including those of Abellio-owned operators and Network Rail managed stations, will also fall silent.
A ScotRail spokesman said: “Everyone at Scotland’s Railway is heartbroken following the terrible accident on Wednesday. Our thoughts are with those who have been affected by this tragic event, particularly the families of Brett, Donald, and Christopher. We send our love and support as they mourn the loss of their loved ones, something no family should ever have to bear.
“Multiple independent investigations are underway to establish exactly what happened on Wednesday. It would be inappropriate for us to comment further until those investigations are concluded.”
Alex Hynes, ScotRail managing director, said: “Scotland’s Railway, and the railway across much of Britain, will fall silent on Wednesday to mark the passing of Brett, Donald, and Christopher.“Our hearts remain broken and will do for a long time. We hope that by coming together as a railway family, along with the local community and people across the country, we can support one another through this horrendous time."
He added: “The strength of support and offers of help from railway colleagues across the rest of Britain has been a real source of comfort.”
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