THE family of train driver Brett McCullough who is one of the three who died in the Stonehaven derailment have paid tribute to “the most decent and loving human being we have ever known”.

In a statement, they said: “Words cannot describe the utterly devastating effect of Brett’s death on his family and friends. We have lost a wonderful husband, father and son in the most awful of circumstances. Brett was the most decent and loving human being we have ever known and his passing leaves a huge void in all our lives.

“We would like to thank the emergency services for their heroic efforts in helping everyone affected by this tragedy and for all the messages of support and condolence we have received. We are an extremely private family and ask that we are allowed to grieve without intrusion and hope that members of the press will understand our need to be left in peace at this time.”

READ MORE: Conductor is among three dead as train derails in Aberdeenshire

It comes as Police Scotland Assistant Chief Constable Judi Heaton confirmed that a joint investigation into the derailment.

She said: “Officers from Police Scotland, British Transport Police and the Office of Rail and Road are working together closely as the investigation seeks to establish the full circumstances of what happened and will utilise the skills of all agencies.

“The investigation, which will be carried out under the direction of the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service, is in parallel to the independent safety investigation by the Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB).

“The multi-agency response to the incident remains ongoing and we are working with partners to support the family and friends of those involved as well as the rail family and local community.”

She also thanked emergency responders and the local community in Stonehaven.

“Our thoughts and condolences are with those affected at this difficult time,” she said.

The First Minister also thanked the emergency services for their work to rescue the six people who were injured in the incident.

She said: “The location and the circumstances also presented major logistical and practical challenges for a rescue and recovery operation.

“Our emergency services yet again showed their immense professionalism and dedication to duty and I am so very grateful to them for that.”