£1m payout for family of mother who died after waiting 3 days for help

Family of mother, 25, who died after waiting THREE DAYS for help in crashed car alongside her dead boyfriend are handed £1million from Police Scotland over its failure to respond to emergency call

  • Lamara Bell and John Yuill died after their car went off the M9 motorway in 2015
  • Passer-by spotted the crash and called police but it took force 3 days to respond
  • Ms Bell’s family agree civil settlement with Police Scotland for more than £1m 
  • The family of a young mother who died after waiting three days for help escaping from a crashed car will receive more than £1 million in damages from police.

    Lamara Bell, 25, and her partner John Yuill, 28 died after their car went off the M9 motorway near Stirling on July 5, 2015.

    A passer-by called Police Scotland, but the force took some 72 hours to respond.

    When officers finally arrived, Mr Yuill was dead on impact while Ms Bell died four days later in hospital.

    The High Court in Edinburgh heard previously that Ms Bell pleaded for help after being found and would probably have survived had this happened sooner.

    Her family have now agreed a civil settlement with Police Scotland and will receive more than £1 million.

    Lamara Bell, 25, and her partner John Yuill, 28 died after their car went off the M9 motorway near Stirling on July 5, 2015.

    Lamara Bell, 25, and her partner John Yuill, 28 died after their car went off the M9 motorway near Stirling on July 5, 2015. 

    Police Scotland's Chief Constable Iain Livingstone arriving for a previous hearing into the tragedy back in September

    Police Scotland’s Chief Constable Iain Livingstone arriving for a previous hearing into the tragedy back in September

    Police took three days to attend the crash site after failing to respond to the initial call

    Police took three days to attend the crash site after failing to respond to the initial call 

    The force was fined £100,000 at the High Court in Edinburgh in September after pleading guilty to health and safety failings which ‘materially contributed’ to Ms Bell’s death.

    In a statement released through their solicitors Digby Brown, the Bell family said: ‘Imagine chasing answers, recognition and justice for six years and all you get is silence, then in the space of three months you get a conviction and a civil settlement – it is fair to say our thoughts and feelings are all over the place right now.

    ‘Our pain and loss won’t stop just because the legal proceedings are over but there is at least a sense of peace that comes with their conclusion.

    ‘But that peace is fleeting because ultimately we are still without Lamara.

    ‘We are without a daughter and sister and her children are without a mother. Such an outcome cannot, and should not ever, go unheeded in a fair society and we are glad to finally have attained that which we sought.

    ‘We’d like to thank our friends, family, community and legal team for all their support, but now we really would like to be left alone as we look to the future.’

    James McMillan, the grandfather of Ms Bell’s son Kieran, told the Daily Record: ‘No amount of money could compensate the children and the family for their loss.

    ‘Kieran has suffered intensely losing his mum. He was only five when she died and has spent six years grieving.

    ‘It’s been a long wait for answers and it feels like justice is not really being done for Lamara or her family.

    ‘The pain and heartache does not go away.’

    The couple's car was left off Junction 9 on the M9 near Stirling for three days before police found them 

    The couple’s car was left off Junction 9 on the M9 near Stirling for three days before police found them 

    Ms Bell’s father Andrew is understood not to have been satisfied with the outcome of all legal proceedings and is now considering future options.

    David Nellaney, partner at Digby Brown, added: ‘The Bell family has endured things very few people could ever comprehend but the patience, resilience and compassion they have shown at all times cannot be understated.

    ‘It is unfortunate Police Scotland did not admit its failings sooner as it might have spared them unnecessary distress, but at least we do now have a conclusion and the Bells can rightly focus on themselves and times ahead.’

    Scotland’s most senior law officer, the Lord Advocate, has begun work to initiate a fatal accident inquiry (FAI) into the deaths.

    Police Scotland Deputy Chief Constable Fiona Taylor said: ‘Lamara Bell and John Yuill’s deaths were a tragedy and our thoughts remain with their children, families and friends.

    ‘The chief constable has been very clear that Police Scotland would engage with any legal process which may take place. It would not be appropriate to comment further at this time.’

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