John Yuill Remembered As 'Lovable Rogue'

30 July 2015, 16:36

M9 crash victim John Yuill, laid to rest.

A funeral has been held for the victim of a car crash which went undiscovered by police for three days.

John Yuill, 28, died after his car came off the M9 in Stirlingshire on July 5.

His girlfriend Lamara Bell, 25, lay critically injured for about 72 hours after officers failed to follow up a report on the accident.

Family and friends of Mr Yuill attended a service at St Francis Xavier's Church in Falkirk as an independent investigation into the police error continues.

He was remembered as a young man who loved cars and Celtic - and would do anything to help his family.

Mr Yuill's father Gordon said in a statement: ''Today we lay our beloved son to rest after his tragic accident, which also claimed the life of his girlfriend, Lamara Bell.

''We would like to say thanks for all the support we have received from friends, family and the community.''

Ms Bell survived the crash near Stirling but died in hospital a week later. Her funeral will be held on Friday.

A member of the public called to report the accident and an operator took the details, but they were not entered onto the police system and followed up.

The couple's blue Renault Clio was found down an embankment when officers received another call from a member of the public on July 8.

Ms Bell's family said in a message to relatives of Mr Yuill on the day of his funeral: ''With our deepest sympathy.

''For those we've loved and lost. We can never be more than a thought apart. For as long as they live in our memory they live on in our hearts.

''May friends comfort you, faith uphold you and loving memories heal your heart.''

Following the crash, Scottish Justice Secretary Michael Matheson ordered a review of all police call handling.

The case is also the subject of an independent probe by the Police Investigations and Review Commissioner (Pirc).

Police Scotland Chief Constable Sir Stephen House has faced calls to resign over the incident.

Father Jamie Boyle told the gathering that Mr Yuill's death has given his family and friends a "real sense of tragedy'' at this time.

He said: "We all struggle with death and particularly when a child dies, a young person dies, there seems to be something that's not right. Parents aren't meant to bury their children.''

Referring to the circumstances of the car crash, he added: "Over the past three weeks there have indeed been lots of questions. There have been lots of whys and what ifs and if onlys.

"We wonder how many people passed their car, hundreds of people probably passed their car thinking someone else might have made that phone call.''

He spoke of the media interest surrounding the "tragic circumstances'' of the deaths.

Almost every day their photographs have been in the newspapers or on the television news, he said, describing it as a "constant reminder of the tragedy and reality of their deaths''.

The funeral mass represents a chance to "take time away'' from the media attention, he told mourners.