Woman Sees Family Killed In Crash

24 December 2014, 08:22 | Updated: 24 December 2014, 08:25

A woman on a Christmas shopping trip with her parents and her daughter saw them killed in the Glasgow bin lorry tragedy.

Six people died when the council truck veered on to the pavement and drove up to 300 yards out of control before crashing into the side of a hotel in the city centre.

Student Erin McQuade and her grandparents Jack and Lorraine Sweeney, all from Dumbarton, were among the victims of Monday's incident.

It has emerged that Miss McQuade's mother witnessed the aftermath of the crash after escaping the path of the lorry.

Jacqueline McQuade had reportedly gone to take out money from a cash machine when her 18-year-old daughter and parents were struck.

Stephenie Tait and Jacqueline Morton, from Glasgow, and Gillian Ewing, from Edinburgh, were also killed when the council truck mounted the pavement before crashing into the side of the Millennium Hotel in George Square.

An investigation is under way into what caused the vehicle to career off the road, with witnesses suggesting the driver may have fallen ill at the wheel.

Families affected by the tragedy will be remembered in a special church service today.

Archbishop of Glasgow Philip Tartaglia will lead a mass at St Andrew's Cathedral at 1pm.

A £60,000 council fund for the victims' families has opened for public donations, while the Christmas lights in George Square, extinguished in the aftermath of the crash, will be switched back on as the city attempts to return to normal.

The winter carnival rides and ice rink will not reopen until noon on Boxing Day.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said yesterday: "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.''

A further 10 people were injured when the bin lorry veered out of control outside the Gallery of Modern Art at about 2.30pm on Monday.

It struck a pedestrian before continuing up Queen Street and hitting several other people, only coming to a halt when it crashed into the hotel.

Six people including the driver were still receiving treatment in hospital yesterday, with one patient in a critical condition.

Hundreds of floral tributes have been laid by members of the public in Royal Exchange Square near where the lorry went out of control.

Candles, cards and a poem hailing the "spirit of Glasgow'' have also been placed there.

Mr Sweeney, 68, was a former president of Bramalea Celtic supporters' club in Canada. The club put a statement online expressing "great shock and sadness'' about his death along with his 69-year-old wife and teenage granddaughter.

Miss McQuade was a first-year student of English literature at Glasgow University and worked at Cameron House Hotel on the banks of Loch Lomond, where she was described as "one of our brightest and dedicated members of housekeeping staff''.

Ms Tait, 29, was a primary school teacher at St Philomena's Primary in Glasgow, where head Catherine Gallagher said the "entire school community is deeply saddened by this tragic news''.

She added: "Stephenie was an excellent young teacher, dedicated to the children. Our thoughts and prayers are with her family and friends at this time.''

Ms Tait had studied at Glasgow University, where principal and vice chancellor Professor Anton Muscatelli said they were "deeply saddened'' to learn of the death of one of their current students and a graduate.

He said: "This is an awful time for those concerned and for the wider university family.''

Monday's tragedy came just over 12 months after the Clutha Bar disaster in Glasgow, in which 10 people died when a police helicopter crashed on to the roof of the crowded pub last November.