Police Failed Mom of 2 Who Lay Dying Beside Boyfriend's Body for 3 Days After 2015 Crash: Inquiry

Lamara Bell and John Yuill had been camping with friends when their car veered off the side of the road and into an embankment

<p>Andrew Milligan/PA Wire/AP</p> Police searching near where John Yuill and Lamara Bell were found

Andrew Milligan/PA Wire/AP

Police searching near where John Yuill and Lamara Bell were found

Police in Scotland failed a mother of two who died after she was left lying beside the body of her boyfriend, a father of five, for three days following their car crash in 2015, according to an inquiry into the incident.

Lamara Bell, 25, and John Yuill, 28, were in a Renault Clio on July 5 of that year when they veered off the M9 motorway near Stirling and went down an embankment, the BBC, The Telegraph and The Guardian reported this week, citing the inquiry.

The couple had reportedly been camping with friends and left the site that July morning.

Yuill died at the scene. But Bell was seriously injured in the crash and survived for three days until police finally arrived at the scene on July 8, per Sky News. However, Bell died at the hospital on July 12.

Related: 13-Year-Old Boy Dead After Being Struck by Truck While Riding Bike Home from Convenience Store

Sheriff James Williamson said the deaths were the result of “organizational failure” within Police Scotland that led Bell to experience “almost incomprehensible” suffering, according to The Guardian.

The deputy chief constable, Alan Speirs, repeated Police Scotland’s previous apology to the couple’s loved ones.

“We did not keep them safe in their time of need, as was our duty, and for that I am truly sorry,” Spiers said following the inquiry.

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A farmer was first to report the crash the same morning it occurred, according to the BBC, The Telegraph and The Guardian.

But the incident was apparently not recorded properly at the call center, so no officers were sent to the scene.

Bell was experiencing hypothermia when she was finally found by a second farmer who heard the woman faintly say “help me” and “get me out,” according to The Telegraph.

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The inquiry determined Bell could have “probably have survived” had police responded in a timely manner.

Police only responded after another member of the public reported seeing the car down the embankment, per the reports.

Williamson determined more than one error was made by Police Scotland in handling the incident, according to The Telegraph. These failures, he added, “took place over a lengthy period of time, during which the opportunity to resolve them was lost.”

In December 2021, Bell’s family was granted £1 million (or more than $1 million) in damages from Police Scotland as part of a civil settlement, per the reports. The department was also fined for “corporate criminal liability.”

Related: 15-Year-Old Boy Died 9 Days After He Was Hit by Car: 'We Talked to Him Until His Heart Stopped Beating'

Speirs said Police Scotland “fully participated with all inspections, investigations and inquiries established since July 2015,” according to The Guardian.

The deputy chief constable said the way Police Scotland currently responds to 999 and 101 calls “is incomparable to how we dealt with them in 2015.”

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