A young father has become the fourth person to die after a horrific crash on the A9 in the Highlands. Steven Macdonald, 28, passed away on Friday night at Raigmore Hospital in Inverness, where he had been fighting for his life since the collision on Monday.
Steven’s family said they were “devastated” by his death and paid tribute to him as a “loving son, brother, partner and dad”. They also thanked the emergency services and hospital staff for their efforts to save him.
Steven, from Inverness, was driving a Ford Fiesta that was involved in a head-on crash with a Mercedes on the A9 near Aviemore. He was airlifted to hospital with serious injuries, while his passenger, a 22-year-old woman, died at the scene.
The Mercedes driver, a 66-year-old man from the US, and his wife, 63, also died in the crash. Their names have not been released by the police, who said they were visiting Scotland as tourists.
Police Appeal for Witnesses
Police Scotland are continuing to investigate the cause of the crash, which happened at about 2.30pm on Monday. They have appealed for anyone who witnessed the incident or who has dashcam footage to come forward.
Sergeant Alasdair Mackay, of the road policing unit, said: “Our thoughts remain with the family and friends of everyone affected by this tragic incident. We are grateful to the members of the public who have already spoken to us in connection with this and have passed on their information.”
He added: “I would ask anyone who has information, including dashcam footage, who has not yet passed this to us, to contact us on 101, quoting incident 2023 of 26 February 2024.”
A9 Safety Concerns
The fatal crash has reignited the debate over the safety of the A9, which is Scotland’s longest and deadliest road. The 112-mile stretch between Inverness and Perth has seen 13 deaths and 50 serious injuries in 2023, the highest number in 20 years.
Campaigners have been calling for the completion of the £3 billion project to dual the remaining single carriageway sections of the road, which was announced by the Scottish government in 2011. However, the work has been delayed by legal challenges, environmental issues and the Covid-19 pandemic.
Transport Minister Jenny Gilruth said the government was “absolutely committed” to dualling the A9, but could not give a date for its completion until after a procurement process. She said the government was also taking short-term measures to improve safety, such as average speed cameras, road markings and signage.
However, some local residents and road users have expressed frustration and fear over the continued risk of accidents on the A9. Laura Hansler, of the A9 Dual Action Group, said: “The moment we hear a siren out on the A9 we collectively hold our breaths, because we are wondering who is coming next?”