A CAR driver is critically ill in hospital after a head-on crash with a lorry on the notorious A9 near Inverness.
Firefighters who rushed to the scene of the accident just south of the Carrbridge junction, 28 miles from Inverness, battled for 40 minutes using specialist cutting gear to free the trapped man from the wreckage.
He was taken by road ambulance to Raigmore Hospital in Inverness.
A Police Scotland spokeswoman said this morning: “He was seriously injured and is critically ill.”
The accident involving a Nissan car and a Scania HGV happened at around 7.15pm on Wednesday, about half a mile south of the Carrbridge junction.
The lorry driver was taken to the Aviemore Health Centre to be checked over, but was not hurt.
The main Perth to Inverness road was closed in both directions as the emergency services, including fire crews from Grantown, Aviemore and Carrbridge, and a heavy rescue vehicle from Inverness, dealt with the incident.
The road was shut for several hours and diversions put in place as road traffic police officers carried out investigations.
A Police Scotland spokeswoman appeal for any witnesses or anyone with information regarding the accident to contact them by telephone on 101.
The A9 has been dubbed the most dangerous road in Scotland. It claimed more lives between 2006-2010 than any other road , with a figure of 67.
There were 1026 accidents, an average of 200 a year, during that time.
There was a further 14 in 2011 and another 10 in 2012.
The Scottish Government earlier this year announced controversial plans to introduce average-speed cameras on the A9, with 100 cameras at 40 locations, with the Government claiming it would cut fatalities on the road.
But road safety campaigners have called for plans to dual the carriageway to be fast-tracked instead.
An online petition launched by Murdo Fraser, MSP for Mid-Scotland and Fife, on Facebook has attracted over 20,000 signatures in support of dualling to be brought forward.
But the Scottish Government said it had not plans to change the timetable for the dualling, with 2025 still the target.