Glasgow lorry crash: Tributes are paid to those who died in horrific accident

Six people died in horrific smash, with 10 injured

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The Independent Online

Tributes were have been paid to three members of the same family who were killed after an out-of-control bin lorry ploughed into Christmas shoppers in Glasgow city centre.

Jack Sweeney, 68, died with his wife Lorraine, 69, and their 18-year-old granddaughter Erin McQuade, a student at Glasgow University, in the tragedy which killed at total of six people and injured many more.

Gillian Ewing, 52, from Edinburgh, Stephenie Tait, 29, a teacher from Glasgow, and Jacqueline Morton, 51, from Glasgow, were also killed when the vehicle mounted a busy pavement on Monday.

As a cordon around the crash site in George Square was lifted a huge bank of flowers built up.

Mr Sweeney’s relative John Sweeney said on Facebook he was “feeling heartbroken”. He said: “No words can describe the pain. RIP Jack, Lorraine and Erin.”

The couple had lived in Canada where Mr Sweeney was president of the Bramalea Celtic supporters club. Celtic FC’s chief executive, Peter Lawwell, sent his deepest condolences to everybody affected by the tragedy. He spoke of Jack Sweeney’s “strong connection” to the club.

 

A statement on the Bramalea Celtic Club’s Facebook page read: “It is with great shock and sadness we share with you our friend and past president Jack Sweeney, his wife Lorraine and granddaughter Erin were victims of today’s tragedy in Glasgow.

“Our thoughts and prayers go to the family and friends of the Sweeney family.”

Professor Anton Muscatelli, vice chancellor at Glasgow University, said it was “deeply saddened” to hear one of its graduates and a current student had been killed in George Square.

He said Stephenie Tait graduated in 2006 and Erin McQuade was a first-year English Literature student.

“This is an awful time for those concerned and for the wider university family,” he added.

Ms McQuade also worked at the luxury Cameron House Hotel on the banks of Loch Lomond.

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Stephenie Tait and Gillian Ewing were among the six people killed when the bin lorry lost control

The hotel said in a statement: “We are saddened to hear we have lost one of our brightest and dedicated members of housekeeping staff.” Ms Tait was described as “an excellent young teacher” by her colleagues at St Philomena’s Catholic primary in the city, who will be “sadly missed by both pupils and staff”.

A Police Scotland investigation is underway into the cause of the incident and a report will be sent to the procurator fiscal.

Ten other people – including the driver of the lorry – sustained injuries and six were still being treated in hospitals around the city, with two of them in intensive care. Four patients have been allowed home.

Chief Superintendent Andy Bates, of Police Scotland, said it was a tragic incident “at a time when people were preparing for the festive season”.

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Candles and flowers are left near the Gallery of Modern Art as the city reopens after the bin lorry crash on Sunday (PA)

He said his thoughts are with the family and friends of those involved as he urged anyone with information – or footage – of the incident to contact police.

Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon visited the scene today. “It is almost impossible to imagine what they (families of the bereaved and injured) are going through and I know that everyone across the city, across Scotland, across the UK, will be thinking of them today,” she told the BBC.

She added that Glasgow is a resilient city.

“We saw last year and we have seen again in the last 24 hours the incredible spirit of the people of Glasgow.”

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A tribute in Glasgow, it reads: 'To the 6 angels I never knew. R.I.P. Sleep tight' (PA)

She was referring to November 29 last year, when 10 people died in the Clutha Bar helicopter crash in Glasgow.

Ms Sturgeon also attended a service at the nearby St George’s Tron Church of Scotland. Reverend Stuart Smith said in just a few minutes “a scene of celebration and festive lights in George Square turned into devastation and despair”.

The truck was driving northwards on Queen Street at 2:30pm on Monday when it struck a pedestrian outside the Gallery of Modern Art, continuing up to 300m towards George Square, hitting more people, before crashing into the Millennium Hotel.

The Queen joined the tributes, and was “saddened” to hear of events, sending her and Prince Philip’s thoughts and prayers.

She said: “This sad event is made even more difficult as it comes at Christmas time.”

Devastated families: The victims

Keen Celtic fan, Jack Sweeney, 68, had previously been president of Bramalea Celtic Supporters Club in Canada, where he lived with his wife, Lorraine, 69, who was also killed in the tragedy.

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Jack Sweeney, left, and wife Lorraine Sweeney with their granddaughter, Erin McQuade

The couple are believed to have lived in Ontario, but returned to Scotland as they missed their family.

Their granddaughter Erin McQuade, 18, was killed with them as the family shopped. A first-year English Literature student at Glasgow University, she also worked as a housekeeper at the Cameron House Hotel near Loch Lomond, where staff described her as “bright and dedicated.”

Stephenie Tait, 29, was a teacher at St Philomena’s Primary School in Glasgow. Her headteacher, Catherine Gallagher, said: “Stephenie was an excellent young teacher, dedicated to the children. She will be sadly missed by both pupils and staff.”

Gillian Ewing, 52, who lived in Edinburgh, and Jacqueline Morton, 51, from Girvan, Glasgow, also died in the accident.

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