A SUNDERLAND teenager has been arrested after an offensive Twitter message about the Glasgow bin lorry tragedy sparked outrage.
The 19-year-old handed himself into police hours after a derogatory message appeared on the social networking site on Monday, relating to the death of six people when a bin lorry lost control and crashed into Christmas shoppers in a busy George Square.
Ten people were also injured with six of them, including the driver of the bin lorry, still being treated in Glasgow hospitals.
The tweet, from an account called @RossLoraine, was later deleted, along with the profile of the person said to have posted it, although it sparked an avalanche of criticism from other users.
Police said the teenager was arrested on suspicion of making a malicious communication and later bailed.
Yesterday, in the Sunderland street where he lives, police cars were in attendance.
A man who answered the door at his home told the Echo the family had “no comment” to make at this time.
A neighbour, who did not want to be named, said: “We saw the police cars and have been told it’s about a message to do with the deaths up in Glasgow.
“I don’t know the family well, but I’m sure it’s the last thing they want to be dealing with just before Christmas.”
Scores of people took to the Echo’s Facebook page to condemn the Twitter post. Among them was Neil Foster, who wrote: “He’s made a serious mistake and should be punished.
“Don’t tarnish the whole of Sunderland because of one idiot.”
Kelly Cawthorne wrote: “How can someone even make a joke over this!!! It’s heartless.
“I hope his family don’t ever have to go through any heartache pain like these families involved in the accident. Disgusting.”
A spokesman for Northumbria Police, said: “A 19-year-old man from Sunderland handed himself into police on Monday evening and has been arrested on suspicion of making a malicious communication. He has been bailed pending further inquiries into the incident.
“The Twitter message was deleted by the individual immediately.”
Police said they received a report of a tweet just before 9pm on Monday “relating to a collision in Glasgow”.
Yesterday, it was confirmed that three of the dead are from the same family. Erin McQuade, 18, and her grandparents Jack Sweeney, 68, and his wife Lorraine, 69, all from Dumbarton, were killed in the horrific accident.
Primary school teacher Stephenie Tait, 29, from Glasgow, Jacqueline Morton, 51, from Glasgow, and Gillian Ewing, 52, from Edinburgh also died in George Square.
As their names were released the Queen sent a message of condolence to the city in which she said: “Prince Philip and I were saddened by the news of the tragic accident in Glasgow yesterday.
“Our thoughts and prayers go to the families of those who have lost loved ones and to those who have been injured.”
It is thought the driver may have fallen ill at the wheel as he travelled up Queen Street, causing the bin lorry to strike a pedestrian outside the Gallery of Modern Art.
The truck continued, hitting several other people and coming to a halt only when it crashed into the side of Millennium Hotel in George Square.