NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland

Ellon-based haulage firm Whyte's to keep operating after fatal crash

Barry and Ann Copeland with their daughters Ciara and Niamh
Image caption Barry Copeland's wife Ann and daughters Ciara and Niamh died

An Aberdeenshire haulage company whose mobile crane was involved in a crash in which a mother and her two children died has been allowed to keep operating.

Ann Copeland, 45, and Ciara, seven, and Niamh, 10, from Johnshaven, died after their car skidded on the A92 in 2008.

A fatal accident inquiry heard hydraulic oil had leaked from a crane.

Scotland's Traffic Commissioner said she felt it would be disproportionate to put William Whyte out of business.

The FAI had heard the tragedy could have been avoided had the vehicle been subject to more rigorous maintenance.

The Traffic Commissioner for Scotland, Joan Aitken, said defect reporting at Ellon-based Whyte's was not robust and had become verbal in nature.

She found the transport manager was overburdened by his health and safety duties and had insufficient time to devote to his main role.

A warning was issued.

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