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The family of a young mother who died after waiting three days for help to escape a crashed car will receive more than £ 1 million in damages from the police.
Lamara Bell, 25, and her partner John Yuill, 28, died after her car spun off the M9 motorway near Stirling on July 5, 2015.
A passerby called the Scottish Police, but the force took about 72 hours to respond.
When officers finally arrived, Mr. Yuill was dead on impact, while Ms. Bell died four days later at the hospital.
The Edinburgh High Court has previously heard that Ms Bell asked for help after being found and she probably would have survived if this had happened earlier.
Her family has reached a civil settlement with the Scottish police and will receive more than £ 1 million.
The force was fined £ 100,000 in Edinburgh High Court in September after pleading guilty to health and safety failures that ‘materially contributed’ to Ms Bell’s death.
In a statement issued through their attorneys Digby Brown, the Bell family said: ‘Imagine pursuing answers, recognition and justice for six years and all you get is silence, then within three months, you get a conviction and a civil settlement: It’s fair to say that our thoughts and feelings are all over the place right now.
Our pain and loss will not stop just because the legal proceedings are over, but at least there is a sense of peace that comes with their conclusion.
But that peace is fleeting because ultimately we are still without Lamara.
“We have no daughter or sister and their children have no mother. Such a result cannot, and never should, go unnoticed in a just society and we are glad that we have finally achieved what we seek.
“We would like to thank our friends, family, community and legal team for all their support, but now we would really like them to leave us alone as we look to the future.”
James McMillan, the grandfather of Ms. Bell’s son Kieran, told the Daily Record: ‘No amount of money could compensate the children and the family for their loss.
Kieran has suffered intensely from the loss of his mother. He was only five when she died and has spent six years grieving.
“ It has been a long wait for answers and it seems that justice is not really being done for Lamara or her family.
“The pain and anguish do not go away.”
David Nellaney, Partner at Digby Brown, added
It is understood that Ms. Bell’s father, Andrew, has not been satisfied with the outcome of all legal proceedings and is now considering future options.
David Nellaney, Partner at Digby Brown, added: ‘The Bell family has endured things that very few people could understand, but the patience, endurance and compassion they have shown throughout cannot be underestimated.
“It is unfortunate that the Scottish Police did not admit to their failings earlier as it could have spared them unnecessary distress, but at least we now have a conclusion and the Bells can properly focus on themselves and the times to come.”
Scotland’s highest ranking law enforcement officer, Lord Advocate, has started work to initiate a Fatal Accident Investigation (FAI) into the deaths.
Scotland’s Deputy Chief of Police Fiona Taylor said: ‘The deaths of Lamara Bell and John Yuill were a tragedy and our thoughts remain with their children, families and friends.
The Chief of Police has made it very clear that the Scottish Police will be involved in any legal process that may take place. It would not be appropriate to comment further at this time. ‘
Lamara Bell Quick and Facts
- Lamara Bell and John Yuill died after their car went off the M9 motorway in 2015
- Passer-by spotted the crash and called police but it took force 3 days to respond
- Ms Bell’s family agree civil settlement with Police Scotland for more than £1m