The A90 remains closed this morning more than 12 hours after three people died and four were seriously injured in a horrific crash.
Two cars and a bus collided near Drumlithie in what police have described as a “challenging incident”.
Multiple people were cut free from vehicles in the smash, which happened between Stonehaven and Laurencekirk.
Several ambulance units and a helicopter attended the scene, with four people taken to Aberdeen Royal Infirmary – one was airlifted and the remaining three were taken to hospital by road ambulance.
Their injuries were described as serious but not life threatening. The male bus driver sustained minor injuries. None of the passengers on the bus were injured.
The incident, involving a red Renault Megane, a silver Ford B Max and a Scottish Citylink coach, took place at 4.30pm yesterday.
Chief Inspector Stewart Mackie said: “This has been a challenging incident for the emergency services to deal with and my thoughts are with the families of all those affected by this.
“I would ask that anyone who witnessed the incident and who hasn’t already spoken to the police contacts officers on 101.
“The road remained closed for some time to allow collision investigation to take place.”
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A spokesman for the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service said four people were cut from vehicles. Five appliances including a heavy rescue unit and 25 firefighters were at the scene.
A Scottish Ambulance Service spokesman said: “We dispatched five ambulances, our special operations team, a helimed resource, our trauma team, a 3RU unit, two managers and a patient transport resource to the scene. We transported four patients to Aberdeen Royal Infirmary.”
A Scottish Citylink spokesman said: “One of our coaches travelling from Glasgow to Aberdeen was involved in a serious multi-vehicle accident. Our immediate thoughts are for those involved in the incident.
“Safety is our absolute priority and we will assist police with their inquiries into the circumstances.”