Hundreds in vigil for lorry victims


Published: Sunday 28th December 2014 by The News Editor

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More than 1,000 people fell silent to remember victims of the Glasgow bin lorry crash at a vigil near the scene today.

Many of those in the crowd held lit candles as they reflected on the six people who were killed and 10 injured when the lorry lost control in Queen Street and George Square on Monday.

The vigil took place in Glasgow’s Royal Exchange Square, adjoining Queen Street, where hundreds of bouquets of flowers and candles have been placed in memory of the victims.

Erin McQuade, 18, and her grandparents 68-year-old Jack and 69-year-old Lorraine Sweeney, all from Dumbarton, died in the accident.

Primary school teacher Stephenie Tait, 29, and tax worker Jacqueline Morton, 51, both from Glasgow, and Gillian Ewing, 52, from Edinburgh, were also killed when the council truck mounted the pavement before crashing into the side of the Millennium Hotel in George Square.

Four people, including two teenage girls, are still being treated in hospital following the accident and are all in stable condition.

A 14-year old girl, an 18-year-old and a woman aged 64 – are all being cared for at Glasgow Royal Infirmary, while a 57-year-old man thought to be the driver is being treated in the Western Infirmary.

Those at the vigil today included Spike Grant, 51, who crossed the road just before the crash on Monday.

He said: “We were there on the day and had just crossed the road. It was like firecrackers going off. We turned to look and saw the lorry coming up with debris flying off the back.

“I went back and helped a doctor with a young girl, a lassie who was 14 and is still in hospital.

“Half a second earlier and it could have been us.

“We just wanted to come down today to pay our respects.”

Heather Purcell, 47, who was with him that day, said: “I feel so sorry for the families. It makes you feel blessed that you are here and have your life in front of you.

“It was so surreal and it still seems like that sometimes.”

The vigil was organised through the Facebook pages Support the George Square Crash and RIP Glasgow Lorry Crash Victims.

David McCallum, who runs the Support the George Square Crash page, set up a similar page following the Clutha helicopter crash in November 2013, which left ten people dead.

Mr McCallum said: “I didn’t know any of the victims personally but I made a Clutha support page last year and that got such a good response with a lot of people saying it had helped them so I wanted to do the same for this year, just because of how many people were affected and how easily it could have happened to anyone.

“I just liked the idea of everyone coming together.

“If this helps anyone come to terms with it and deal with it and helps then I think it is worth doing.”

Police estimated that between 1,000 and 1,500 people were at the vigil.

The victims of the crash were remembered at Christmas services across the city, with candles lit and prayers said for all those affected by the tragedy.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon intends to personally thank those who dealt with the incident in the coming days and weeks.

A Scottish Government spokesman said: “The First Minister extends her sincere condolences to the families and friends of those who died in George Square. She also wishes a speedy recovery to those who are still being treated in hospital.

“Our immediate priority is to allow health professionals to continue to care for people who were injured, and to give those who lost loved ones the time and space to grieve. T he First Minister is extremely grateful to the health workers and first responders who dealt so admirably with this difficult tragedy. She intends to thank them personally over the coming days and weeks.”

Published: Sunday 28th December 2014 by The News Editor

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