‘Outstanding’ former Mearns pupil praised

Mearns Academy has paid tribute to an “outstanding” former pupil who was tragically killed last week in an accident on the A9.

Michael McNaughton died when his car was involved in a head-on collision with a whisky tanker near Dunkeld on Tuesday January 22.

This week, Mearns Academy paid tribute to the 24-year-old.

Headteacher Ian Parkin, said: “Michael was an outstanding and popular pupil here and the school was devastated to hear of the sad news.

“His academic success, alongside that on the rugby field, was very clear but as significant were his great personal qualities and love of the outdoors: strong, yes, but always sensitive to others, a real leader and, overall, a most impressive young man.


“This is a terrible loss and our thoughts are with his family at this time.”

Michael, along with his dad Alan, mum Lindsay and his sister, Danielle, moved to the Laurencekirk area from Muthill in 1996.

He attended Fettercairn Primary School and Mearns Academy before completing his secondary education at Robert Gordon’s College in Aberdeen.

Having graduated from Aberdeen University with a first class honours degree in law, Michael took a year out to travel to Australia and New Zealand before returning to Scotland to complete an MSc in Oil and Gas Enterprise Management.

He had recently started working as a senior marketing analyst with Calash Limited of Aberdeen, the company for whom he worked part time while studying for his MSc.

He was a keen and a talented rugby player, representing Scotland at under-18 level.

He also played for Aberdeen Grammar in the premiership and had a short spell of playing in Brisbane, Australia.

Michael loved the great outdoors and following country pursuits and liked nothing more than spending time at the Braes of Balquihidder and Ardnamurchan.

He will be sorely missed by all of his family and friends.

Enquiries into the full circumstances of the incident are ongoing and Tayside Police would appeal for anyone who may have information that could assist officers with their enquiries to contact them on 0300 111 2222.

As with all sudden deaths, a report has been submitted to the procurator fiscal.