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Police probed after death of mum Lamara Bell left for three days in crashed car

By Hilary Duncanson

Published 13/07/2015

Tragic: Lamara Bell (25)
Tragic: Lamara Bell (25)

A mother who lay in a crashed car next to her dead boyfriend for three days after police failed to respond to a report of an accident has died in hospital.

Lamara Bell (25) was critically injured in the crash off the M9 near Stirling on last Sunday.

But she was only found in the car last Wednesday, around 72 hours later, despite the incident having been reported to police on the day it happened.

Ms Bell was taken to Glasgow's Queen Elizabeth University Hospital, where she died yesterday.

Her boyfriend, 28-year-old John Yuill, who was a father, was pronounced dead at the scene.

Numerous tributes to Ms Bell have been posted online and Mr Yuill's family have spoken of their devastation following news of the second death.

The case is now subject to an independent probe by the police investigations and review commissioner. Scotland's Justice Secretary Michael Matheson has formally directed Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary in Scotland to undertake an urgent review of all police call handling following the incident.

A statement from the Bell family said: "Sadly, our daughter has passed away."

Mr Yuill's relatives said: "The family of John Yuill would like to say that their prayers and thoughts are with Lamara and her family. We are devastated by the sad news this morning.

"The families have messaged each other this morning and our thoughts are with John and Lamara's children at this very sad time."

Police Scotland's Chief Constable last week apologised to the relatives of the two crash victims.

Sir Stephen House admitted police had "failed both families".

In a fresh statement issued yesterday, Sir Stephen said: "On behalf of Police Scotland, we are all deeply saddened by the news of Lamara Bell's death and I would personally like to express my deepest sympathies to her family and friends for their loss. We will continue to co-operate fully with the police investigations and review commissioner as they undertake their investigation into the circumstances of this tragic incident."

The couple were reported missing after visiting Loch Earn, Stirlingshire, in a blue Renault Clio.

It emerged that a member of the public contacted Police Scotland at around 11.30am on last Sunday to report that they could see the vehicle down an embankment near the M9 slip road at Bannockburn.

The call was answered, but "for reasons yet to be established" it was not entered on to the police systems and no action was taken at the time. The car was found when officers were called to the scene by another member of the public on Wednesday.

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