Italian officials send sympathies to those affected by A96 crash
The country’s Honorary Consulate in Aberdeen said it is supporting the families of the Italian citizens caught up in the tragedy.
Two Italians - a woman and a four-year-old boy - were among the five people killed in the collision between a minibus and a car on the major route in Moray on Thursday night.
The two were part of a group of Italian tourists on board the white Fiat minibus.
Three passengers from the local area in the Nissan X-Trail car, two women aged 69 and 70 and a 63-year-old man, also lost their lives.
Five other people, including a three-year-old Italian boy, were taken to hospital for treatment following the collision between Huntly and Keith shortly before midnight that day.
Robert Foietta, the Italian Honorary Consul for Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire, said: “The Honorary Consul of Italy for Aberdeen, extends its deepest sympathy to all those affected by the tragic accident on the A96 on Thursday.
“We will be supporting the families of the Italian citizens involved in any way we can and ask that their privacy is respected at this very sad time.”
Carlo Perrotta, Italian Consul General for Scotland, told the BBC earlier that some relatives of the tourists involved were to arrive in Scotland on Saturday.
Police Scotland is expected to confirm the identities of those who died early next week.
The 39-year-old female driver of the Nissan suffered serious injuries and is being treated at Dr Grays hospital in Elgin.
Police said the driver of the minibus, two adult passengers - a man and a woman - and a three-year-old boy were also taken to hospital with a “variety of injuries”.
The woman is said to be in a critical condition at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary while the three-year-old suffered minor injuries.
Officers investigating the cause of the crash have appealed for any witnesses to come forward and for dashcam footage to be submitted to them.
Road Policing Superintendent Louise Blakelock said: “The dreadful scene faced by emergency responders was both distressing and extremely challenging for everyone involved.
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank all those who made valiant attempts to save the casualties’ lives - their efforts cannot be underestimated.”