Published: 11:02, 22 July 2021
| Updated: 12:12, 22 July 2021
A teenager has died and two people are in critical condition after a minibus collided with a lorry and then hit the central reservation on a motorway in southern Scotland.
A red Ford Transit Tourneo minibus was travelling north on the M74 at junction 20 near Annan, Dumfries and Galloway, at around 4.45pm on Wednesday when it was in collision with the white lorry.
The driver and six passengers were in the minibus.
A 15-year-old girl was taken to the Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle but she later died, Police Scotland said.
A 42-year-old woman taken by air ambulance to James Cook Hospital in Middlesbrough and a 17-year-old boy flown by air ambulance to the Royal Victoria Hospital in Newcastle are both in critical condition.
A six-month-old girl, a seven-year-old boy, a 12-year-old boy and the 45-year-old man driving the minibus were all taken to the Cumberland Infirmary and treated for minor injuries.
The road was closed for about 12 hours while police carried out an investigation, reopening at 4.40am on Thursday.
Sergeant Jonny Edgar, from the Road Policing Unit based at Dumfries, said: “Our thoughts and condolences are with the family involved in this devastating incident, and specialist officers are supporting them during this time.
“An investigation is under way to establish the full circumstances surrounding the crash and it is important we speak to anyone who was on the road at the time, and may have witnessed what happened or observed the minibus beforehand.
“We would also urge any motorists with dashcams who were travelling on the M74 on Wednesday afternoon to please check their footage in case they have captured anything which could be of significance to our inquiries.
“Anyone with information is asked to contact Police Scotland through 101, quoting incident number 2612 of Wednesday July 21.”
Travellers who took the same route on Wednesday posted on social media about being stuck in traffic for several hours.
Sarra Hoy, wife of Olympian Sir Chris Hoy, tweeted: “Standstill M74 northbound, near Gretna, after what seems to be a dreadful accident. Not moving anytime soon.
“Lost track of the number of emergency vehicles we have seen and now air ambulance. Hoping everyone ok and so thankful for our incredible emergency services.”
She later added: “Going to be turned round shortly after almost four hours at a standstill. A huge operation.
“Thank you @policescotland and everyone involved. Praying and hoping for those involved in the accident.”
Locals from the nearby village of Kirkpatrick-Fleming brought food, drink and ice lollies to people stranded in the traffic.
Stephen Muir, 38, said: “I delivered about 100 ice lollies, about 150 bottles of water, juice, apples, crisps donated by people within the village and local businesses.
“I am the chairman of the community council and we are a close community, (we) like to help each other.
“I work all over the country and have been stuck in many accidents with no food or anything to drink.
“From my house (I) could see a few children standing outside the vehicles with parents. It was 26C outside so felt it’s only right to go and offer help.”