Family ‘torn apart’ by A9 crash

A “PERFECT family” have been torn apart by a crash that killed a mother and daughter, leaving the father and the girl’s sister seriously injured in hospital.

Three people died in the A9 crash. Picture: Peter Jolly

• Calls for A9 to be made safer following the deaths of three people in a three-car collision, including a young girl

• German registered Jeep Cherokee and blue Audi believed to be involved in accident

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Lawyer Andrew Houston, 42, lost his wife, Abigail, also 42, and seven-year-old daughter Mia in the smash on the notorious A9 in the Highlands.

The family, named locally by neighbours in the Trinity area of Edinburgh, were believed to have been travelling north to start their summer holidays.

Another motorist, thought to be a tourist, was pronounced dead at the scene while his wife was rushed to Raigmore Hospital, Inverness, with Mr Houston and his other daughter, Lily.

All three are said to have suffered multiple injuries and are in a “serious but stable condition”.

The accident, believed to have been a head-on crash between the Houstons’ Audi and a German-registered Jeep, happened on Tuesday evening on a single-carriageway section of the trunk road, between Newtonmore and Kingussie.

It has prompted renewed calls for the road to be turned into a full dual carriageway sooner than currently planned.

Neighbours of the Houston family spoke of their sadness.

One described them as a “perfect family” and said: “It is absolutely awful, we are all in shock. It is just so sad. I don’t think people can quite realise what has happened. The whole of Wardie Avenue is in shock.”

Another said: “You wouldn’t want it to happen to anyone but they are such a nice family. It makes it even worse that the wee girls were involved.”

Another neighbour said: “There are just no words to describe this awful, awful situation. She was a terrific mum, so patient and kind. It’s just unbelievably awful and unfair.”

Three ambulances, four fire crews and a rescue helicopter were called to the scene.

Mr Houston is a partner at McSporrans lawyers, based in East London Street, Edinburgh, where he has been since 2006.His wife is understood to have worked as an occupational therapist for NHS Lothian. Neither organisation was available for comment.

Murdo Fraser, MSP for Mid-Scotland and Fife, has launched a “Dual the A9” Facebook page linked to an online petition that has attracted more than 20,000 signatures.

At present, the dualling works are to start by 2015 and be completed before 2025.

Mr Fraser said: “Social media has revolutionised campaigning and hopefully this new resource will add to the already successful website.

“On Tuesday, three lives were lost in another A9 tragedy and I think the public have responded to this heartbreak by reaffirming their desire to have the road dualled.”

The A9 has claimed more lives between 2006-10 than any other road in Scotland, with a figure of 67. There were 1,026 accidents during that time, an average of 200 a year.