Two crashes in East Ayrshire - six taken to hospital

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Firefighters conducted road rescues at the incidents on the M77, which occurred around one mile apart.

Six people were taken to hospital following two separate collisions on the M77 in East Ayrshire this morning (24 December).

Firefighters used hydraulic cutting equipment as they performed road rescue operations at the scene of both incidents, which took place on the northbound and southbound carriageways about a mile apart.

Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) crews were first mobilised around 10:15am following reports of a crash on the southbound carriageway and first responders reached the scene within

The incident occurred around a mile from the Bellfield Interchange in Kilmarnock and left the vehicle on a roadside embankment. A woman and boy were able to exit the car but a man remained trapped inside.

As firefighters worked to free him reports arrived of a separate incident on the northbound carriageway.

SFRS crews again deployed hydraulic cutting equipment as they worked to rescue a man and a woman following the incident, which occurred near the Bellfield Interchange around 10:35am.

A second man had exited a vehicle prior to the arrival of the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service crews.

Paramedics and firefighters provided treatment to the casualties at both incidents before ambulances took them all to Crosshouse Hospital.

Station Manager David McCarrey, who was incident commander at the scene of the second collision, said: “It’s obviously unusual to have separate collisions on the same stretch of road within such a short space of time.

“The emergency services worked extremely closely throughout both incidents to help the casualties and protect other road users.

“Firefighters were operating side-by-side with ambulance paramedics to ensure those who were trapped in the vehicles received immediate treatment and were safely and swiftly released. Our police colleagues closed both carriageways while ensuring other emergency vehicles could access the scenes.

“At the incident on the northbound carriageway our crews removed the side of the car to create space needed to lift the woman and man clear.

“Of course the thoughts of all the emergency responders involved in both incidents will very much be with the casualties at this time.”

Winter weather increases the risks to motorists and the emergency services have appealed to everyone to do what they can to reduce the chance they will be involved in a collision.

Bright winter sun low on the horizon or reflected from surfaces can dazzle drivers or cause reduced visibility, so the advice is always to stay aware of the conditions and make sure to drive at an appropriate speed within the limit.

Rain, surface water and ice all increase the risk of a driver losing control and increase the distance required to bring a vehicle to a safe stop.

Station Manager McCarrey added: “The fact is winter weather does make it all too easy for any motorist to experience a collision.

“It can happen to any of us – no matter how much experience we have as drivers – but always being aware of the weather and surface conditions we can all reduce that risk.”

Further advice on how motorists can stay safe this winter is available from Transport Scotland at www.transportscotland.gov.uk/ready-winter.

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