Lights off for lorry crash victims


Published: Thursday 25th December 2014 by The News Editor

Comments (0)

Christmas lights across the country were turned off last night as a mark of respect for the victims of Glasgow’s bin lorry crash.

Around 72,000 people signed up to a Facebook event page which asked participants to switch off their decorations at 9pm and hold a two minute silence to reflect on the tragedy.

Six people were killed and 10 more injured when the lorry lost control in the city’s Queen Street and George Square on Monday.

Yesterday the Archbishop of Glasgow told a memorial mass that he wept with a woman who saw her teenage daughter and both her parents die almost right in front of her.

Jacqueline McQuade is thought to have gone to withdraw money from a cash machine during a Christmas shopping trip when her 18-year-old daughter Erin McQuade and parents Jack and Lorraine Sweeney, all from Dumbarton, were fatally injured.

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

Archbishop Philip Tartaglia told a 600-strong congregation at the city’s St Andrew’s Cathedral: “On the evening of the tragedy, I was privileged to be permitted to spend some time with one of the families who had been cruelly devastated by the incident.

“I was able to witness and share the grief and sadness of a mother and of a father for their daughter, and of two daughters for their mother and father.

“The distressed woman to whom I was speaking had been at the incident, she had seen her daughter and her own parents killed almost right in front of her. Can you imagine the horror? Can you imagine her sadness?

“I tried to console them and comfort them. We spoke and we cried and we were silent before the abyss of their loss and the random meaninglessness of what had happened.”

A 14-year-old girl remains in a ”serious but stable” condition at Glasgow Royal Infirmary, one of five patients still in hospital.

Three women aged 18, 49 and 64 and a 57-year-old man – thought to be the driver – are all said to be in a stable condition.

Archbishop Tartaglia said the city had been transformed from one “eagerly and cheerfully preparing for Christmas into a city of sadness and mourning”.

He said the “bereaved and devastated families may not feel the joy of Christmas because of their deep sadness and distress” as he spoke of their “grief, their bewilderment, their anger, their desperation, their unanswered questions”.

The family of 51-year-old Ms Morton said they had been “deeply shocked and saddened about the tragic accident on Monday culminating in the loss of our Jacqueline”.

A statement from her partner John, her sons Adam and Scott and the rest of her family, said: ” We would like to pass on our thoughts and prayers to other families affected by this tragedy.

”We would like to pass on our thanks to the people who got to Jacqueline first and also to the emergency services at this difficult time.”

Mr Sweeney, 68, was a former president of Bramalea Celtic supporters’ club in Canada.

The club put a statement online expressing ”great shock and sadness” about his death, along with his 69-year-old wife and granddaughter.

Miss McQuade was a first-year student of English literature at Glasgow University and worked at Cameron House Hotel on the banks of Loch Lomond, where she was described as ”one of our brightest and dedicated members of housekeeping staff”.

Ms Tait, 29, was a primary school teacher at St Philomena’s Primary in Glasgow, where head Catherine Gallagher said the ”entire school community is deeply saddened by this tragic news”.

She described her as “an excellent young teacher, dedicated to the children” and said: “Our thoughts and prayers are with her family and friends at this time.”

Ms Tait had also studied at Glasgow University, where principal and vice-chancellor Professor Anton Muscatelli said they were ”deeply saddened” to learn of the death of one of their current students and a graduate.

Police Scotland have made a fresh appeal for those who might have footage of the incident to send it to them, as they pledged there would be a ”thorough and exhaustive” investigation into the crash that would continue “throughout the festive period”.

Anyone with footage is asked to send it to

Scottish Deputy First Minister John Swinney, who attended yesterday’s service, said: “There’s obviously a necessity for a very thorough investigation to be undertaken into the events of Monday.

“I hope people understand that on such a serious issue this has to be done with meticulous care and meticulous attention and that’s what Police Scotland are doing now.

“As soon as any information can be shared more publicly, Police Scotland will do so.”

A council fund for the victims’ families has been opened for public donations.

Published: Thursday 25th December 2014 by The News Editor

Comments (0)

Local business search