Grandad of M9 crash victim Lamara Bell's son says youngster's grief is 'intense' as cops admit failings

By Jane Hamilton & Jon Hebditch

The grandad of tragic M9 crash victim Lamara Bell's young son has told of his 'intense grief' as Police Scotland admitted failings that led to her death.

Lamara, 25, and her partner John Yuill, 28, died after their car crashed off the M9 near Stirling in July 2015.

But in a horrific case that shocked the nation they lay undiscovered in the motor three days after the incident was reported to police.

When officers finally arrived at the scene John was found to be dead and Lamara died four days later in hospital.

Kieran was just five when his mother passed (UGC)

Today, the force pleaded guilty to health and safety failings which led to the death of the young mum who left behind Alysha and Kieran who were aged just 10 and five at the time of the tragedy six years ago.

James McMillan, grandfather of Lamara’s son Kieran, told the Record how the wait for today's answer had been 'intolerable' and he would never forgive then police boss Stephen House - who has since resigned from the force.

He added young Kieran had suffered 'intense grief' from the loss of his mother.

He said: “This has been an extremely long and stressful six years from the time of the accident and today’s hearing.

"The wait we have had to endure to get to this point has been intolerable.

The funeral of Lamara Bell (HEMEDIA)

"I have witnessed the intense grief my grandson has gone through over the loss of his mother and the horrific circumstances of her death.

"I will never forgive Stephen House for this. The right decision has been taken by Police Scotland today.

Lamara Bell's son Kieran with his grandfather James McMillan who now looks after him (Daily Record)

“My wish now is I hope Kieran will receive the support he undoubtedly needs after this decision has been reached.

"I have been crying out for support for him, and he needs it urgently to get through this tough period in his life.”

Officers at the scene following the fatal crash on the M9 (PA)

At the High Court in Edinburgh, the office of the Chief Constable of Police Scotland admitted that it failed to ensure that people including the tragic pair were not exposed to risks to their health and safety by failing to provide an "adequate and reliable call-handling system" between April 1, 2013 and March 1, 2016.

M9 crash victims, John Yuill and Lamara Bell. (PA)

The force admitted that as a result, members of the public were exposed to risks to their health and safety and, in particular on July 5, 2015, a police officer at the force call-handling centre at Bilston Glen Service Centre failed to record a phone call from a member of the public reporting that a vehicle was at the bottom of an embankment at the side of the eastbound junction nine slip road from the M80 on to the M9.

Kieran has had to grow up without his mum (Daily Record)

Police Scotland has been contacted for comment.

Don't miss the latest news from around Scotland and beyond - Sign up to our daily newsletter here.


What is inkl?

Important stories

See news based on value, not advertising potential. Get the latest news from around the world.

Trusted newsrooms

We bring you reliable news from the world’s most experienced journalists in the most trusted newsrooms.

Ad-free reading

Read without interruptions, distractions or intrusions of privacy.