Friends have said the world “became a darker place” with the death of an Inverness teenager in an accident on the A9.
Gregor McIntosh was a passenger in a red Vauxhall Corsa when it collided with two other vehicles on the road between Inverness and Thurso on Friday evening.
The popular 16-year-old was described as “one-of-a-kind” by friends and the wider community following his sudden death.
A GoFundMe page has been set up by friend Ellie Campbell to gather funds for the teenager’s funeral.
Miss Campbell said: “The world became a darker place when Gregor passed away on Saturday December 21.
“Gregor deserves the best send off we can possibly give him. Hopefully this will ease the burden of this for his family as well.
“Everyone is absolutely heartbroken and it hasn’t set in for the majority of us yet.
“This is for you Gregor. We all love you and hope we do you proud.”
Yesterday, the page had amassed a total in excess of £5,000 with just shy of 400 people contributing.
Police have said they are continuing to investigate the circumstances leading up to the crash and have appealed for anybody with information to come forward.
The three vehicles – the others were a white Nissan Juke and a blue VW polo – collided on Friday at about 6.55pm at the A9’s junction with the B9161 towards Munlochy.
Two others were injured in the collision with three fire engines attending and hydraulic cutting gear used to free the casualties.
Mr McIntosh was taken by ambulance to Raigmore Hospital but later died.
Sergeant Angus Murray, of Dingwall road policing unit, said: “Our thoughts remain with Gregor’s family and friends at this very sad time.
“Our inquiries are ongoing to establish the full circumstances of the crash and we are grateful to the members of the public who have assisted us already.
“I would ask anyone who has information, in particular drivers with dash-cam footage which might help with our investigation, to call us.”
Yesterday there were numerous social media posts paying tribute to the youngster.
Mhairi Jarvie wrote: “Heartbreaking. Just heartbreaking.
“Always seems worse at this time of year, with presents never opened.
“It’ll never be the same again. Love and condolences to all his family and friends.”
Knockbain Community Council posted online conveying their condolences to Mr McIntosh’s family and wishing those who sustained injuries a speedy recovery before adding: “It has been a long-held view of Knockbain Community Council that this junction needs action.
“I believe there should be no right turns from or to dual carriageways and would like to take this opportunity to seek support from the local community to take this forward.”
Kate Forbes MSP also expressed her sadness on learning of the incident, adding that she will be raising the concerns of her constituents with Transport Scotland.
She said: “We don’t know the full details of this accident, and out of respect it is important not to jump to conclusions and to allow the police time to investigate.
“I know that the increase in traffic has made this junction very difficult for drivers.
“Some improvements were made last year, but I recognise as somebody who regularly uses the junction that it needs further consideration.”
Anybody with any information is asked to contact police on 101.