Agony of father whose son was found dead three days after car crash

‘I still have nightmares.’ Father whose son was found dead in car three days after crash reported to police tells of his ongoing agony

  • John Yuill, 28, and girlfriend Lamara Bell, 25, lay undiscovered at side of motorway after police failed to log call about crash 
  • Mr Yuill’s father Gordon was speaking at a Fatal Accident Inquiry into the deaths of the pair 

A father has said he still suffers nightmares about his son and girlfriend lying for days undiscovered in their crashed car in a botched police search.

Gordon Yuill said he needed answers as to why police failed to log a farmer’s call that their car had crashed into a field off the M9.

He told Falkirk Sheriff Court that police admitted to him they had blundered with the search for the couple on the day they were found, three days after the accident in July 2015. He said he had reported his son John Yuill missing after he and girlfriend Lamara Bell, 25, failed to return from a camping trip.

Mr Yuill, 59, who ran a mobile home recycling business with John, 28, said he normally saw his son every day.

He described the father of five as a ‘lovely person… a very hard working, normal family guy’.

Alarmed: Mr Yuill reported his son missing 

Victims: Lamara Bell and John Yuill 

The inquiry heard that John and mother-of-two Ms Bell had been camping with three people at Loch Earn and left while the others were asleep.

In the early hours of July 5, 2015, John’s Renault Clio plunged down an embankment on the M9 near Stirling.

The wrecked car was reported within hours by a farmer – but a sergeant working an overtime shift at Police Scotland’s Bilston Glen call handling centre in Midlothian failed to log the call.

This resulted in area control rooms being unaware of the incident until three days later after another call from the public.

John was already dead and Ms Bell had a significant head injury and was only partially conscious and in ‘significant pain’.

She was flown to hospital in Glasgow where she died on the morning of July 12.

Mr Yuill told yesterday how the three others who had been on the camping trip had turned up at his home in Camelon, Falkirk, to tell them how they had woken up to find John and Ms Bell had disappeared.

He said he had texted and called John’s mobile without response and checked Facebook, formally reporting him missing at 9.30pm.

Police began a missing persons inquiry. A helicopter search covered an area of Perthshire – but the inquiry heard no searches were tasked of the M9 near Stirling where the car had crashed.

Police officers search the scene at the M9 after a car was discovered off the road 

Mr Yuill was at Forth Valley Hospital to identify John’s body when police admitted their blunder.

Mr Yuill said three days after Ms Bell’s death, he gave a statement to the Police Investigations and Review Commissioner.

It read: ‘I know that John died quickly. However, he still lay there for three days. Lamara to my mind could have been saved if she’d been found on Sunday.

‘I still have nightmares about this. I want answers as to why this happened.’

His counsel Brian McConnachie, KC, asked: ‘Does it remain a concern to you that John was in that car for three days while you were making calls to the police?’

Mr Yuill replied: ‘Yes. John deserved dignity in death and he didn’t receive it.’

The inquiry, before Sheriff James Williamson, continues.

Source: Read Full Article