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

  • John Yuill and Lamara Bell died in 2015 after their car was struck by the M9 motorway.
  • A witness saw the wreckage and called 911, but police took 3 days to arrive.
  • 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 Bel, 25 and John Yuill (28), both died when their car crashed off of the M9 motorway close to Stirling.

Police Scotland was called by a passerby, and it took 72 hours for them to get back to him.

When the officers arrived at Yuill’s location, Mr Yuill died instantly upon impact. Ms Bell succumbed four days later in hospital.

The High Court at Edinburgh had previously heard Ms Bell plead for help following being located and that she would likely have survived if this had occurred 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 Bel, 25 and John Yuill (28), both died when their car crashed off of the M9 motorway close to Stirling. 

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

Iain Livingstone is Chief Constable for Police Scotland. He arrived to a September hearing on the tragedy.

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

After failing to immediately respond to initial calls, police took three days for officers to reach the scene. 

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.

The Bell family released a statement through Digby Brown their solicitors, saying: “Imagine searching for answers, recognition, and justice for six long years, and you only get silence. After three months, you receive a conviction, and then a civil settlement. It is safe to say that our feelings and thoughts are scattered all around the place at the moment.

“Our pain and loss will not end just because legal proceedings have ended, but at least there’s a feeling of relief that comes with them being over.”

“But this peace is fleeting, because eventually we are still missing Lamara.

“We have no daughter, sister or mother. This outcome is unacceptable in fair societies. We’re happy that we finally achieved the results we desired.

“We would like to express our gratitude to all of our family and friends as well as the legal team, but we are ready to move on to the next chapter.

James McMillan was the grandfather to Ms Bell’s boy Kieran. He told The Daily Record that no amount of money would be able to compensate for the loss of his children and their family.

The loss of his mom has been a devastating experience for ‘Kieran. Six years later, he still grieves his mother’s death. He was just five at the time.

“It’s been an extended wait for answers, it feels like justice has not been done for Lamara and her family.

“The pain, heartache and suffering will never go away.”

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

Police found the couple three days after their car had been left at Junction 9 of M9 in Stirling. 

Andrew, Ms Bell’s father is believed not to be satisfied with all the legal proceedings. He is currently considering other options.

David Nellaney of Digby Brown added that the Bell family had to endure things few could comprehend, but their resilience, compassion, and patience cannot be underestimated.

“It’s unfortunate that Police Scotland didn’t admit to its failures sooner, as it could have saved them unnecessary distress. But at least now we have a conclusion. The Bells can focus rightly on themselves and the future.

The Lord Advocate is Scotland’s highest ranking law officer and has started work on a fatal accident investigation (FAI).

Fiona Taylor, Deputy Chief Constable of Police Scotland said that John Yuill and Lamara Bell’s deaths are a tragedy. We send our condolences to their families.

“The chief constable was very clear about the fact that Police Scotland would be involved in any legal proceeding. It is not appropriate at the moment to speak further.