POLICE today (Thursday) named the woman who died in a car accident in Shetland on Wednesday as 71 year old Patricia Angela O’Sullivan, a retired school teacher from North Wales.
Mrs O’Sullivan was killed when the car she was in left the single track B9071 between Parkhall and Skeld in snowy conditions, tumbled down an embankment and landed on its roof in a burn.
She had been visiting her daughter Clare and her family, who live in Reawick, on Shetland’s west side, over Christmas and New Year.
The car was being driven by her daughter’s partner Jim Nuttall and she was with her husband Denis. Both men were airlifted by coastguard helicopter to Gilbert Bain Hospital in Lerwick after the alarm was raised at 11am. The local GP from Bixter and firemen from Lerwick and Brae also attended.
Denis O’Sullivan was so seriously injured that he was flown by air ambulance to Aberdeen Royal Infirmary last night for treatment to his leg. Mr Nuttall was discharged from hospital in Lerwick on Thursday.
Five officers from Northern Constabulary’s road policing unit, in Dingwall, are examining the scene to find out if the bad weather was the reason for the crash, which is thought to be the first to result in a fatality in Scotland during the wintry weather. A report will be submitted to the procurator fiscal.
Conditions on Wednesday morning were clear and bright, but there were occasional snow showers and side roads were slushy in places despite being gritted.
Mrs O’Sullivan was a regular church goer at Our Lady of the Rosary Catholic Church, in Buckley, with her husband Dennis.
Her friend Joan Glendenning said: “She was visiting her daughter. I knew her from church and we worked together sometimes at Our Lady Of The Rosary. She’s a lovely lady, she worked as a teacher at St Mary’s Primary in Flint.
“Her family must be devastated. She was a brilliant team member, I’m so upset. They’re a lovely family, she was a very good friend.”
Police inspector Ross MacKillop, of Lerwick, said that he could not comment on the cause of the accident until a full investigation had been carried out. Diversions remain in place until 5pm this afternoon.
NHS Shetland praised the emergency services and the local GP who attended the scene and dealt with the accident so swiftly.
Director of clinical services Simon Bokor-Ingram said: “This has been a devastating tragedy for those involved in this accident and for their family.
“We have excellent emergency services in Shetland and I am extremely grateful for the way in which they and the general practitioner from Bixter responded so quickly and worked so hard to provide the immediate care that was needed at the time.”