Girl, 15, dies after minibus collides with lorry and hits central reservation of motorway

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A 15-year-old girl has died and two people are in critical condition after a collision between a minibus and a lorry on a motorway in southern Scotland, police have said.

The youngster, one of six passengers in a red Ford Transit Tourneo minibus, died in hospital after the vehicle collided with a white lorry, then hit the central reservation near junction 20 of the M74.

The bus was travelling northbound, at around 4.45pm on Wednesday.

The girl was taken to the Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle but later lost her life, Police Scotland said.

A 17-year-old boy and a 42-year-old woman were both flown to hospital by air ambulance in a critical condition.

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He was admitted to the Royal Victoria Hospital in Newcastle, while she was taken to James Cook Hospital in Middlesbrough.

A six-month-old girl, a seven-year-old boy, a 12-year-old boy and the 45-year-old man driving the minibus, suffered minor injuries and were all taken to the Cumberland Infirmary.

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The road was closed for about 12 hours while police carried out an investigation, reopening at 4.40am on Thursday.

Sergeant Jonny Edgar, from the Road Policing Unit based at Dumfries, said: "Our thoughts and condolences are with the family involved in this devastating incident, and specialist officers are supporting them during this time.

"An investigation is under way to establish the full circumstances surrounding the crash and it is important we speak to anyone who was on the road at the time, and may have witnessed what happened or observed the minibus beforehand.

Travellers who took the same route on Wednesday posted on social media about being stuck in traffic for several hours.

Sarra Hoy, wife of Olympian Sir Chris Hoy, tweeted: "Standstill M74 northbound, near Gretna, after what seems to be a dreadful accident. Not moving anytime soon.

"Lost track of the number of emergency vehicles we have seen and now air ambulance. Hoping everyone ok and so thankful for our incredible emergency services."

She later added: "Thank you @policescotland and everyone involved. Praying and hoping for those involved in the accident."

Locals from the nearby village of Kirkpatrick-Fleming brought food, drink and ice lollies to people stranded in the traffic.

Stephen Muir, 38, said: "I delivered about 100 ice lollies, about 150 bottles of water, juice, apples, crisps donated by people within the village and local businesses."

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