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Last Updated: Tuesday, 1 August 2006, 10:31 GMT 11:31 UK
Teenagers and rector die in crash
Crash on A9 - BBC Scotland news website
The scene of the smash close to the Raigmore Interchange
Two teenage exchange students from Peru and an 82-year-old man have been killed in a crash on the A9 in Inverness.

The boys, aged 15 and 16, were part of a Free Church of Scotland exchange trip and had been staying with the man.

It emerged on Tuesday he was Donald MacLeod, a former rector at Fortrose Academy on the Black Isle.

The crash at 0755 BST on Monday involved a stationary Tesco lorry and a Honda CRV car 500 yards from the Kessock Bridge roundabout.

A section of the northbound A9 carriageway was closed for more than four hours, before it reopened at 1230 BST.

This was an extremely harrowing and tragic accident in which three people lost their lives
Supt David O'Connor

Police said the teenagers had been staying with the 82-year-old in Inverness.

They were being taken to North Kessock where they were due to meet up with other members of their group from St Andrew's School in Lima to take a day trip to Stornoway in the Western Isles.

The accident came on the day Northern Constabulary launched its Safer Summer Campaign, part of a nation-wide drive to reduce road accidents.

Inverness area commander, Supt David O'Connor, said: "This was an extremely harrowing and tragic accident in which three people lost their lives.

"It was a particularly difficult set of circumstances for police and other emergency services.

"Clearly the accident is still under investigation and a full report will be made to the procurator fiscal in relation to the facts and circumstances."

He added: "Our thoughts and condolences are with the families and friends of the victims, at this difficult time."

Crash on A9 - BBC Scotland news website
Police investigators were at the scene of the accident

Free Church of Scotland spokesman, the Rev Alex MacDonald, said the teenagers had been attending summer camps.

He said: "The camps had finished and the boys were staying with a family from Inverness.

"They were going to be dropped off and meet up with others and go to Lewis for a day trip.

"We are deeply saddened by what has happened. They came to a place which is normally safe and they have met this tragic end."

Firefighters had used cutting equipment to remove the accident victims from the wreckage.

The crash happened at the height of rush hour as dozens of commuters poured into the city along the A96 from Nairn and on the A9 from the south.

At one point, vehicles were backed up a considerable distance to the Drumossie Brae on the A9.

Traffic was diverted through Inverness and there were lines of traffic on roads through Raigmore, the city centre and into the Crown area.

Yellow council vans were in position on both carriageways to help police enforce diversions and to serve as a warning to motorists travelling southbound.

Police road accident investigators have been working to establish the cause of the crash.

Debris from the car, including a door removed by firefighters, littered the scene.

The section of northbound carriageway leads into the Longman area and on to the Kessock Bridge.

See the scene of the crash

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