A man killed in a horrific car crash in the Highlands was described last night as a “perfect gentleman” with a “heart of gold”.
Osmond Pearson died at the scene of the three-vehicle smash on the Black Isle.
The 37-year-old’s blue Mazda 6 was involved in a collision with a black Volkswagen Golf and a Toyota Hilux pick-up truck on the A832 between the Tore roundabout and Muir of Ord.
Police said last night that the driver of the VW was still being treated at Raigmore Hospital in Inverness after suffering serious injuries in the accident.
The 40-year-old man was in a stable condition, having been described as critical earlier in the day.
The male driver of the Hilux was uninjured.
Mr Pearson – who was known as Oz – was originally from the north-east of England but had been living at Muir of Ord.
The village’s community council leader, Frances MacGruer, said the accident had shocked the community.
She was caught up in the queue at the smash scene immediately after it happened around 5.30pm on Tuesday.
She said: “It’s awful right enough, a terrible thing. Whoever it is it affects everyone in Muir of Ord.
“We may now have quite a large community but it’s a tight community and this is shocking for everyone.”
Tributes were also paid to Mr Pearson on social media, with people describing him as a “true gentleman” who had a “heart of gold”.
The road was closed for several hours on Tuesday evening while an investigation was carried out by specialist police officers.
Debris was strewn over a huge area, with the Mazda and Volkswagen ending up about 60 yards apart following the impact.
Fire crews from Inverness and Beauly, as well as a specialist heavy rescue unit from the Highland capital, were called to the scene.
Firefighters used hydraulic cutting equipment on the Volkswagen and the Mazda to free the two male casualties.
Two ambulances were also called to the scene, along with two officers from the ambulance service.
A police spokesman said: “All three vehicles were recovered from the scene, with the road closed for several hours with local diversions in place.
“As part of ongoing inquiries, police would urge anyone who witnessed the collision and hasn’t yet been in touch to make contact.”
The accident was the latest in a number of serious crashes in the Black Isle area in the past few months.
Twenty-year-old Angus Plowman, from Fortrose, died in a two-vehicle collision further east on the A832 between Munlochy and Avoch earlier this month.
And in November 77-year-old pedestrian Margaret MacLaren died after being hit by a car on the B9161 near her home in Bogallan.