School bus driver dies in crash involving Mearns pupils

© DC Thomson
The scene of the crash on the B979 South Deeside Road.

A 68-year-old bus driver transporting pupils from a Mearns school has died following a three-vehicle crash.

The collision involving a bus with 13 pupils from Lathallan School near Johnshaven collided with a white DAF lorry and a red Audi A4 near the Maryculter Bridge on the South Deeside Road at 7.45am on Friday.

Tributes paid to Tayside driver killed in bus crash

The two male drivers of the lorry and car were rushed to Aberdeen Royal Infirmary but did not suffer life-threatening injuries.

None of the pupils were seriously injured.

The single decker school bus is operated by a Laurencekirk-based bus firm.

The crash happened on what was Lathallan’s final day of school before a three-week festive break and the school has paid tribute to the victim, who was a regular driver on the route and a hugely popular figure with the youngsters, described as a “larger-than-life” character.

A Police statement said: “Police Scotland can confirm that as a result of the serious road traffic collision earlier today on the South Deeside Road, the male bus driver has sadly died.

“The collision occurred at 7.45am today (Friday, December 15 2017) close to the Maryculter Bridge on the South Deeside Road (B979), outside Aberdeen and involved a lorry, a bus and a car.

“Thirteen pupils from Lathallan School in Johnshaven were on the bus at the time of the incident, but none have sustained any serious injuries.

“The male drivers of the red Audi A4 and white DAF lorry have been taken to Aberdeen Royal Infirmary with non-life threatening injuries.

“The South Deeside road will remain closed for the time being between Leggart Terrace and Netherley Road (B979) plus Milltimber Brae.

“If anyone witnessed the collision or either of the vehicles prior to the incident and has not yet spoken to officers please call Police Scotland quoting reference inc 633 of 15 December.”

Police Scotland can confirm that as a result of the serious road traffic collision earlier today on the South Deeside…

Posted by North East Police Division on Friday, 15 December 2017

In a statement on the Lathallan website the school said: “Many of you may already be aware that the North bus was involved in an accident this morning on South Deeside Road in Aberdeen.

“The coach was transporting pupils to school. The bus had 13 pupils on it at the time.

“None of the pupils sustained serious injuries. All parents are aware and have been contacted. All pupils involved are now with staff or parents.

“We have been informed by Police Scotland that the driver has sadly passed away.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with his family, he was a larger-than-life character who was extremely popular with our pupils.

“He will be missed by us all.”