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Tributes paid to victims of Stonehaven train derailment as fundraiser set up for families

© Kim Cessford/DCT MediaFloral tributes left at Stonehaven Station
Floral tributes left at Stonehaven Station

Tributes have been paid to two ScotRail workers and a passenger who died in the Stonehaven derailment.

Train driver Brett McCullough and conductor Donald Dinnie lost their lives in the tragedy.

Aberdeen man Christopher Stuchbury, a passenger on the train, also died in the incident on Wednesday morning.

An online fundraising page to raise money for the families of the victims has already raised more than double its target.

Mr McCullough’s family paid tribute to “the most decent and loving human being we have ever known”.

© Supplied
Train driver Brett McCullough (left) and Donald Dinnie (right) died following the derailment

In a statement, they said: “Words cannot describe the utterly devastating effect of Brett’s death on his family and friends. We have lost a wonderful husband, father and son in the most awful of circumstances. Brett was the most decent and loving human being we have ever known and his passing leaves a huge void in all our lives.

“We would like to thank the emergency services for their heroic efforts in helping everyone affected by this tragedy and for all the messages of support and condolence we have received. We are an extremely private family and ask that we are allowed to grieve without intrusion and hope that members of the press will understand our need to be left in peace at this time.”

The RMT union paid tribute to its member Mr Dinnie.

Senior assistant general secretary Mick Lynch said: “On behalf of the union I want to send condolences, support and solidarity to Donald Dinnie’s family‎, friends and colleagues.

“It is absolutely clear that he was much loved and highly respected by all who knew him and his death is a tragedy that has shocked our entire industry. We share the grief of those who were close to Donald.

“Donald’s branch, Aberdeen 1, have told me that ‎he was an amazing person. He lit up every room he walked into with his cheery banter and stories. Many knew Donald for most of his railway career as a driver and a guard. He was very much a family man and a valued, active and proud member of the RMT.‎ His loss has cast a long shadow over his branch, his Region and the whole national union.

“Our thoughts at this time are also with the driver,‎ Brett McCullough, a member of our sister union ASLEF, and the passenger who also lost their lives in yesterday’s incident.

“RMT will continue to provide whatever support we can to Donald’s family and colleagues at this terrible time. We are united in both our grief and our determination to ensure that safety on our railways remains the absolute priority.”

The family of Christopher Stuchbury said they were “devastated by his death”.

A statement released by Police Scotland said: “Chris was a much adored husband, son, dad, stepdad, granddad, brother and uncle and was a treasured and loved friend to many, including the Targe Towing Team where he was an integral and valued member of staff.

“He also volunteered at Roxburghe House in Aberdeen during his spare time which he thoroughly enjoyed doing.

“We are devastated by his death and we request privacy at this difficult time as we come to terms with our loss.”

Four of the patients injured in Wednesday’s train crash near Stonehaven have been discharged from hospital.

A spokeswoman for NHS Grampian said: “Following yesterday’s major incident, four patients have been discharged from Aberdeen Royal Infirmary.

“Two remain in hospital, both are in stable condition.”

Police Scotland Assistant Chief Constable Judi Heaton confirmed that a joint investigation into the derailment is being conducted.

She said: “Officers from Police Scotland, British Transport Police and the Office of Rail and Road are working together closely as the investigation seeks to establish the full circumstances of what happened and will utilise the skills of all agencies.

“The investigation, which will be carried out under the direction of the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service, is in parallel to the independent safety investigation by the Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB).

“The multi-agency response to the incident remains ongoing and we are working with partners to support the family and friends of those involved as well as the rail family and local community.”

She also thanked emergency responders and the local community in Stonehaven.

“Our thoughts and condolences are with those affected at this difficult time,” she said.

Visiting the site on Thursday, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said he has ordered Network Rail to carry out an immediate “resilience review” into areas affected by storms following the fatal train derailment near Stonehaven in Scotland.

He wrote on Twitter: “As part of today’s visit to Stonehaven, I’ve ordered an immediate resilience review from Network Rail of areas hit by the recent storms.

“In addition I’ve requested a full report on wider network resilience, with the interim findings on my desk by 1st September.”