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Caithness News Bulletins September 2003

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Australians In Road Traffic Accident Near Bettyhill

WITH reference to yesterday's bus crash on the B871 near Bettyhill police are now able to confirm the names of the most seriously injured persons.  The most serious is Howard Mundy who is in a critical, but stable condition at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary.   Also seriously injured and all being treated at Raigmore Hospital are: Carol Batson (62), Helen Browning (61), John Farmer (60), Sandra Newell, Megane Young (60).

Latest - 9 September 03
MEMBERS of the Australian High Commission, who are travelling to Inverness tonight, intend travelling tomorrow to Thurso to meet with their fellow nationals and discuss the events which unfolded.

NHS Highland has provided an update on the casualties as a result of the crash.  A spokesman said: "The accident involved a coach load of 46 Australian tourists travelling from the Lake District to Orkney. The accident happened near Bettyhill "Emergency services and local GP's attended the scene very promptly and assessed all the casualties and directed them appropriately."
One patient was airlifted to Caithness General Hospital in Wick and subsequently flown to Aberdeen Royal Infirmary. He is a 60-year-old man who was seriously injured with bilateral chest injuries.

There were six further admissions to Caithness General with minor injuries which were mainly back related.  Eight patients were airlifted to Raigmore. These were between the ages of 60 and 70 years. One of the patients was a man with head and chest injuries. The remaining five appear to have minor injuries, with two still to be assessed.   The spokesman added: " I would like to note my thanks to the Emergency crews at the scenes and all those at the various hospitals.

"They have worked promptly and effectively and as a well joined up team of  professionals."

A 45-year-old man is now the subject of a report to the Procurator Fiscal at Tain in connection with the incident.  As the case may be the subject of legal proceedings no further statements on the individual concerned are to be made by the police.

8 September 03
A Tour Bus went off the road near to Bettyhill in Sutherland today Monday 8 September 2003

It is understood around 46 Australian tourists were on the coach which apparently went off the road (B871) and down a ditch 2-3 miles north of Syre which is 12 miles south of of Bettyhill.

A number of those on board were believed to be trapped within the bus.  

Approximately 3 road ambulances, the HELIMED Air Ambulance and Fire Service were sent to the scene.

Three members of the Australian High Commission are currently travelling to Inverness to meet up with the Road Accident victims in Sutherland first thing tomorrow morning. 

The Road Accident Victims are all from Armadale, New South Wales and consultation is currently taking place with them and the Tour Operator about the continuation of their holiday.

Four people who were being treated at Strathnaver Village Hall for minor injuries have been transferred by Police to Melvich Community Care Centre

Eleven people who had been held at Armadale Medical Practice are also being transported to Melvich Community Care Centre

Several passengers were treated at Caithness General and others locally at a nearby medical centre.  One man has been flown off to Aberdeen and his condition is serious.