A 32-year-old man has died following a serious road crash near Wick.
The one-vehicle crash, involving a grey Vauxhall Vectra, occurred around 4pm yesterday on the A99 Latheron to John O’Groats route at Freswick Bridge.
The 32-year-old man was taken to the Caithness General Hospital where he later died from his injuries.
A 26-year-old woman and a three-month-old baby girl were also taken to the Wick hospital with serious injuries.
A three-year-old girl and two boys, aged six and eight, were also taken to hospital with minor injuries.
All were later transferred to Aberdeen Royal Infirmary.
Councillor Raymond Bremner, who represents the Wick and East Caithness area, said: “This is a really tragic incident and our thoughts go out to everyone who will be affected by this, especially the friends and families and loved ones of those who were involved in the accident.
“I would urge anyone with any information that may help clarify what happened to get in touch with the police as soon as possible.
“This incident has happened when our roads have become so much busier this year; more so than previous years because of the attraction of the north Highlands to those who are wishing to come here as part of a staycation.
“Although we have yet to establish the circumstances surrounding this incident, I would appeal to road users to exercise the utmost care when driving on our roads and to be considerate of other road users.”
Caithness civic leader and councillor Willie MacKay said: “My thoughts are very much with the families and friends after the sudden loss of life here.
“The A99 is not a particular black spot for accidents, but I’m sure the road police unit will be investigating to give some idea of what the circumstances were and what went wrong.”
The road was closed whilst police officers carried out an investigation at the scene of the crash.
Police have now appealed for anyone with any information or dashcam footage to come forward to assist inquiries.
Highlands and Islands Road Policing Sergeant Kate Park said: “Our thoughts are with the families and friends of those involved at this time.
“We are continuing with enquiries to establish the circumstances of the crash.
“The car, a grey Vauxhall Vectra, had been travelling south towards Wick on the A99 at the time of the incident, however, our initial enquiries have suggested the vehicle may have been travelling north just prior to the collision and turned around to head back south towards Wick.
“It’s important that we speak to all witnesses in order to gain a full view of what happened.
“We are looking to speak to anyone who may have seen the car on the road and is yet to speak to the police to please get in touch.
“We would also ask drivers who were in the area and had a dash-cam to please check back and see if there is any footage of the vehicle on the road that may be able to assist our investigation.”
Anyone with information is asked to contact police on 101, quoting incident number 2370 of 6 September.