Tribute to music fans killed in A96 crash
29 July 2018, 11:59 | Updated: 29 July 2018, 12:17
Tributes have been paid to three country music lovers who were among five people killed in a crash on the A96 in Moray.
The three Scots who died in the collision on Thursday night have been named locally as Ted Reid, 63, from Macduff, and Evalyn Collie, 69, and Audrey Appleby, 70, from the Aberchirder area of Aberdeenshire.
They had been travelling back from a country music night in Elgin when their 4x4 was involved in a collision with a minibus carrying a group of Italian tourists.
Two Italians - a woman and a four-year-old boy - also died in the crash between Huntly and Keith shortly before midnight.
The driver of the car, named locally as Morag Smith, 39, from Aberchirder, was seriously injured and is being treated at Dr Gray's Hospital in Elgin.
The four regularly attended a country night held once a fortnight by Elgin Country Music Club, and had been at a performance on the night of the crash.
The club's president Billy Main said: "They were just very nice people.
"They just came and enjoyed themselves, I couldn't say anything bad about them, they were just very friendly.
"They had been coming (to the club) for a few years off and on.
"You just can't take it in, it's unbelievable really.
"It was a shock enough to hear about the crash and then you realise it's people you know just going home."
A statement on the group's Facebook page read: "It is with great sadness we have to mention that, late on Thursday night owing to a tragic accident east of Keith we lost three good attenders of our club who will be sadly missed by all.
"Our thoughts go out to their nearest and dearest. RIP.
"Our thoughts are also with Morag Smith in hospital in Elgin, and wish her a full recovery."
Friends and members of the club posted messages of condolence and remembered the three as "really lovely people".
The male driver of the minibus, two adult passengers - a man and a woman - and a three-year-old boy were also taken to hospital with a "variety of injuries".
The woman is said to be in a critical condition at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary while the three-year-old suffered minor injuries.
The Italian Honorary Consulate in Aberdeen said it is supporting the families of the Italian citizens caught up in the tragedy.
Officers investigating the cause of the crash have appealed for any witnesses to come forward and for dashcam footage to be submitted to them.