Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 17 April 2014

Man found dead in icy conditions

Commuters are facing significant disruption after snow was forecast

An elderly man has been found dead by his partner close to a school in freezing conditions.

Robert Johnston, 79, was discovered near Panmurefield Road outside Monifieth High School in Angus on Wednesday at around 5am, according to the Daily Record.

Tayside Police said the sudden death of Mr Johnston, known locally as Grahame, is not being treated as suspicious and that a report had been submitted to the procurator fiscal.

The discovery came as wintry conditions blasted Scotland with the Met Office issuing an amber alert for most of the country on Wednesday night. Four of the six regions in Scotland are under the "be prepared" snow warning while Orkney, Shetland, south-west Scotland and the Lothian and Borders area have a yellow "be aware" alert until 11am.

Transport minister Keith Brown said the multi-agency response team would monitor rush-hour travel and offer help. He said the severe weather warning suggests it could be the biggest challenge of the winter to date.

"We would remind motorists and the travelling public to be aware of the potential dangers of snow and icy conditions. An added risk is that fresh snow could fall on hard-packed ice and already-treacherous surfaces, so keep up to date with live travel information and advice for preparing for and driving in testing conditions," he said.

"The public should be prepared for the risk of significant disruption to travel, especially over the M8 corridor to the east of Glasgow, across Perthshire and over much of inland eastern Scotland."

David Simpson, route managing director of Network Rail Scotland, said: "We're monitoring the weather forecast and deploying our rapid response teams to where the weather is most likely to hit."

Anthony Astbury, chief forecaster at the Met Office, said temperatures could drop to minus 6C widely and even lower in more rural locations.

"At lower levels, 2cm-3cm of snow is likely before turning back to rain. Despite turning to rain, the lying snow and ice will struggle to melt and this will bring some treacherous conditions," he said.

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