Family ‘still waiting for dad to come home’ after Scotland collision

Working for a building firm in St Helens and raising his family in Haydock, Tony Sheil was known as someone who “would drop anything he was doing to help others”.

As he often moved around for work, the dad-of-two dreamed of moving to rural Scotland to eventually retire with his partner Michaela Yates, which is what the family did in 2022 after the reset of the pandemic.

Finding his “dream home” in southwest Scotland, Tony had dreams of renovating the property in his retirement until his life was tragically cut short after a fatal collision on the A75 ‘Euroroute’ in Wigtownshire, on Friday, November 24, 2023.

READ > Large police presence in village as investigation into man’s death continues[1]

St Helens Star: Tony tragically passed away when he was just minutes way from homeTony tragically passed away when he was just minutes way from home (Image: Michaela Yates)Michaela, who got engaged to Tony when they were 18 but never tied the knot, said: “Tony always wanted to retire in Scotland, so after lockdown we went on holiday and started thinking about moving here.

“He found his dream home and loved his job so he really loved living here. I could see a big change in him, he was like a different person, and he had plans to do the house up and set up some Labrador kennels in his retirement.

“Now it feels like I’ve been robbed of the next 30 years of my life. It still doesn’t feel real and feels like we are just waiting for him to come home.”

St Helens Star: Tony had moved into his 'dream home' in ScotlandTony had moved into his ‘dream home’ in Scotland (Image: Michaela Yates)Working as a foreman for a Scottish green energy firm, Tony was just minutes away from home when his Ford Transit van collided with a Volvo motor lorry in November, which is subject to an ongoing police investigation in Scotland.

The 51-year-old was driving along the unlit single-carriageway A75 road when the collision happened, which is a common route for heavy goods vehicles to the Stranraer ferry port but also a hotspot for road traffic collisions.

Calls to improve the A75 and A77 roads have long been discussed in Scotland and was even debated in Parliament in 2018.

The Scottish Herald[2] reported that there have been 564 casualties on the two roads between 2016 and 2021, which equates to an average of ten a month, while another fatal collision[3] occurred just last week, killing a man and woman.

With the devastated Sheil family just a few names on the long list of people affected by the roads, they are campaigning to improve road safety in the area and across the UK.

St Helens Star: Michaela and Tony got engaged when they were 18Michaela and Tony got engaged when they were 18 (Image: Michaela Yates)Michaela, 53, added: “I don’t want any other family to through what me and my daughters are still going through because of the neglected state of roads.

“We have contacted the police, the Scottish government, and the UK government but it just feels like nothing is being done and we’re banging our heads against a wall.

“There have been so many crashes here so we just want someone to listen to us and improve road safety on these types of roads.”

St Helens Star: Tony's death devastated the familyTony’s death devastated the family (Image: Michaela Yates)Trying to raise as much awareness as possible about road safety, the family is hoping to encourage Ministers to introduce lights and speed cameras, as well as improved road markings, signage, and cats eyes, on the A75, A77 and similar unlit roads across the UK.

The family is also raising money[4] for a memorial stone and bench so that they can install a lasting memory for the beloved dad-of-two.

Tony’s daughters Natasha, 16, and Samantha Jane, 20, added: “Our dad, our best friend died on the A75 that night after finishing work. He never got to say goodbye to us and we never got to say goodbye to him. That will always hurt.

“Our lives will never be same again. We have been ripped apart. It has always been the four of us now it is just three.

“We want the road changing we don’t want any other family to going through the pain we are going through.

“We will fight for this road to get the changes it desperately needs. Even if it stops just one family from getting the same news we received that night.”

St Helens Star: There has been multiple calls to improve the A75 and A77 roadsThere has been multiple calls to improve the A75 and A77 roads (Image: Google Maps)After multiple collisions on the A75 and A77, Transport Scotland said that it is recommended that infrastructure improvements take place on these “critical” routes.

A spokesperson said that it will work collaboratively with the UK government to apply for funding to improve road networks.

A Transport Scotland spokesperson said: “The strategic importance of both the A75 and A77 to Scotland’s economy is recognised by this government, and we value the critical link they provide to the wider markets in the rest of the UK and Europe by connecting the ports at Cairnryan to the wider trunk road network.

“Recommendation 40 in the second Strategic Transport Projects Review places equal importance on both the A75 and the A77 to Scotland and its economy. As with the A75, it identifies a series of targeted infrastructure improvements on the A77, for the next 20 years. The UK Government’s own Union Connectivity Review, also recognised the A77 as a route that requires improvement. However, unlike the A75, this was not one of the routes which could apply to their Union Connectivity Fund.

“While transport is a devolved matter, the Scottish Government was invited to bid for UK Government funding for improvements to the A75 following the announcement of their Union Connectivity Fund in 2021. Last month, the UK Government confirmed that funding of £8 million, in line with our funding proposal, is available and we continue to work collaboratively with them in securing this through the necessary legal and financial mechanisms.

“Since 2007 we have completed five major improvements on the A77, including most recently the £29 million Maybole Bypass which opened in January 2022. This is in addition to over £124 million which has been invested on the A77 to ensure its safe and efficient operation.”


  1. ^ READ > Large police presence in village as investigation into man’s death continues (
  2. ^ Herald (
  3. ^ fatal collision (
  4. ^ raising money (