Police have released the names of the six people who were killed by an out-of-control bin lorry in Glasgow. Jack Sweeney, 68, his wife Lorraine, 69, and their 18-year-old granddaughter Erin McQuade, all from Dumbarton, were among the dead. Gillian Ewing, 52, from my city Edinburgh, Stephenie Tait, 29, and Jacqueline Morton, 51, both of Glasgow, also died. The council bin lorry crashed in George Square after careering from Queen Street at 14:30 on Monday. Ten other people, including the lorry driver, were injured in the crash. I am sitting here in tears…..My country mourns at a time where there should be joy, fun, family and more. Christmas won’t be the same in Scotland, especially Glasgow. These are my people and me theirs, we are one today, Scotland has came together as one and we will do whatever it takes to help the people who have lost, many families will be in hell today. My heart and soul goes out to them. I know your’s does also. Being Scottish is a proud thing and today I am broken hearted for my Country. We shall pull through, we will be strong, it’s who we are
Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon Leads Tributes To Glasgow Bin Lorry Tragedy Victims
Police said four casualties were being treated at Glasgow Royal Infirmary. One is in a critical condition, one is serious but stable, one is stable and the other is expected to be discharged later. A further casualty is in a stable condition at the city’s Western Infirmary. A sixth casualty is expected to be discharged later from the Southern General Hospital. Ch Supt Andy Bates, of Police Scotland, said: “This is a tragic incident which occurred in the heart of Glasgow city centre at a time when people were preparing for the festive season. My thoughts are with the family and friends of those involved. “My officers will continue to work with partner agencies to investigate the cause of the incident. If anyone has any information that may assist our inquiries please contact Police Scotland.
“I’m also aware that some members of the public may have video or images of the incident and it would be helpful if they could send them to firstname.lastname@example.org A report will be submitted to the procurator fiscal.” It is believed Mr Sweeney had previously lived in Ontario, in the east of Canada, where he was president of Bramalea Celtic supporters club.
A statement posted on the Bramalea Celtic supporters club Facebook page said: “It is with great shock and sadness we share with you our friend and past president Jack Sweeney, his wife Lorraine and granddaughter Erin were victims of today’s tragedy in Glasgow. “Our thoughts and prayers go to the family and friends of the Sweeney family.” Celtic FC said it would hold a minute’s silence in memory of the dead before Saturday’s home game against Ross County. And many other clubs I am sure will follow.
Mr and Mrs Sweeney’s granddaughter Erin was a student at Glasgow University and worked at Cameron House. The hotel said in a statement: “Cameron House Hotel and Resort are saddened to hear we have lost one of our brightest and dedicated members of housekeeping staff, Erin McQuade. “We want to offer our deepest condolences and sympathies to the family of Erin and to all those who have been affected by the tragic events at George Square yesterday.”
Tributes were also paid to Stephenie Tait, a Glasgow University graduate, who worked as a teacher at St Philomena’s Primary in the Provanmill area of Glasgow.
Headteacher Catherine Gallagher said: “The entire school community is deeply saddened by this tragic news. “Stephenie was an excellent young teacher, dedicated to the children. Our thoughts and prayers are with her family and friends at this time. “We will be supporting colleagues in every way possible. Stephenie made a wonderful contribution to the life of St Philomena’s. She will be sadly missed by both pupils and staff.” Professor Anton Muscatelli, principal and vice chancellor of the University of Glasgow said, “The university is deeply saddened to hear that one of our current students and one of our graduates were killed in yesterday’s George Square tragedy.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of Stephenie Tait who graduated in 2006 and Erin McQuade a first year student of English literature. This is an awful time for those concerned and for the wider university family.” Meanwhile, Glasgow City Council is opening an appeal fund for those who were affected by the crash. The Lord Provost’s Queen Street fund will begin taking donations from Wednesday. Debit and credit card donations can be made by calling 0141 287 7878. Lines will be open Monday to Friday between 08:00 and 20:00 except on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and 1 and 2 January. Donations can also be made at any bank using Sort Code 834400 and Account Number 10809775. The council is donating £20,000 and the Lord Provost’s Goodwill Fund is also donating £20,000.
Lord Provost Sadie Docherty said: “We have had tremendous offers of support already. Glaswegians started calling us to offer donations almost as soon as this tragic incident happened. “That’s heart-warming but not surprising in a city which responds so well to tragedy.” Anyone in need of support can call a dedicated helpline on 0141 287 0999. The bodies of the victims were removed from the scene overnight in a fleet of private ambulances. An investigation is continuing to establish the exact circumstances surrounding the crash. Police have now re-opened George Square to pedestrians and traffic.
The Christmas lights will remain off until Wednesday and the Glasgow Loves Christmas attractions, including the ice rink and big wheel, will remain closed until noon on Boxing Day as a mark of respect to the victims. The council has also opened a book of condolence at the City Chambers, near where the crash happened.
Glasgow City Council leader Gordon Matheson, Lord Provost Sadie Docherty and First Minister Nicola Sturgeon all spoke near the scene on Tuesday morning where hundreds of floral tributes have been placed. Ms Sturgeon said: “Glasgow this morning is a broken-hearted city. 2014 has been such an incredible year for this wonderful city, the Commonwealth Games were such an outstanding success, but it is a year that has been bookended by two unimaginable tragedies, the Clutha at the end of last year and now this awful tragedy that unfolded here yesterday.
“But Glasgow is a resilient city, we saw last year and we have seen again in the last 24 hours the incredible spirit of the people of Glasgow and this city will pull together to support those who have been affected, not just in the days ahead but in the weeks and months to come. “We are reminded today of that spirit of Glasgow, this is a city I am so deeply proud to call my home and I know I will be one of many whose thoughts and prayers particularly over the Christmas period are with all those who have been so tragically affected by what happened yesterday.”
The first minister said that “like everyone else” she wanted to know what had caused “this dreadful incident” and stressed that police were “absolutely focused on completing that investigation as quickly as possible and giving people the answers they seek”.
Earlier, Ms Sturgeon said flags would fly at half-mast on government buildings out of respect. On Tuesday morning, a service of remembrance for victims of the crash was held at the Church of Scotland’s St George’s Tron Church, located yards from the crash scene. Presbytery Clerk and former Moderator Very Rev Bill Hewitt told the service: “We feel for the pain of others in this city.” He added: “We understand something of the burden carried the hearts by those who have lost loved ones, who are concerned for those in hospital, for emergency workers who have been on the frontline in meeting human need and offering themselves.”
Roman Catholic Archbishop Philip Tartaglia will say mass for the victims at St Andrew’s Cathedral in Glasgow on Wednesday.
The Queen has sent a message of condolence. She said: “Prince Philip and I were saddened by the news of the tragic accident in Glasgow yesterday. “Our thoughts and prayers go to the families of those who have lost loved ones and to those who have been injured.”This sad event is made even more difficult as it comes at Christmas time. I send my condolences to all the people of Glasgow.”
Police Scotland said there appeared to be nothing “sinister” about the crash and said it was still carrying out investigations at the scene. It is known that the lorry struck a pedestrian outside the Gallery of Modern Art (Goma), then mounted the pavement and travelled hundreds of metres, hitting several others. The lorry, operated by the city council, flattened street signs as it travelled along Queen Street and the side of George Square. It finally crashed into the Millennium Hotel, beside the entrance to Queen Street station in George Square at 14:30 on Monday. Eyewitnesses said the lorry driver had been “slumped over his wheel”.
Glasgow City Council confirmed that three employees were in the lorry before the crash. George Ieronymdis, owner of the Elia Greek Restaurant on George Square, said he had been told that some of the bin lorry’s crew were seen jumping from the vehicle and holding their heads in their hands, looking devastated. A spokesman for the Institute of Traffic Accident Investigators said that vehicles, even large ones, can carry on for a considerable distance if there is an “unintended acceleration”, which could be caused by a driver falling ill. “Without speculating on this incident, there might be a number of causes for a vehicle to travel a considerable distance,” he said.
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