A FORMER Newcastle University was among those killed in an avalanche in the Scottish highlands. Una Finnegan, 25, died on Saturday along with three friends after a snow-covered slope gave way.
Meanwhile, her 24-year-old friend, who is from Durham, is still in a critical condition in hospital after being rescued.
Four people were killed in the avalanche, which struck at about 2pm on Saturday as they made their descent at Bidean Nam Bian in Glencoe.
One man survived by leaping from the collapsing sheet and hammering an ice axe into firmer ground.Ms Finnegan, 25, originally from County Londonderry in Northern Ireland, died alongside Dr Rachel Majumdar, 29, originally from Merseyside, and PhD students Tom Chesters, 28, from Leeds, and Christopher Bell, 24, from Blackburn.
Friends said the group were experienced climbers who “loved the mountains” and were well-equipped for the trek.Nicola Madden, vice-principal of Dalriada School in Ballymoney, paid tribute to Ms Finnegan, who studied medicine at Newcastle in order to follow in her doctor father’s footsteps.
“She was bright, bubbly, talented, an amazing student, and academically she was brilliant,” Ms Madden said last night.
Ms Finnegan’s father Dr Owen Finnegan was a well-respected heart and chest consultant at the Causeway Hospital in her hometown of Coleraine.
His daughter was inspired to become a doctor after attending a humanitarian mission to Moldova in eastern Europe and meeting medics there.
After studying medicine in Newcastle, Ms Finnegan moved to Edinburgh to take a masters course, where she was still living.
“She just had a great zest for life and did actually want to make a difference,” Ms Madden said.The Durham woman was flown to Belford hospital in Fort William on Saturday then transferred to Glasgow’s Southern General Hospital.
She is being treated for "very serious" head injuries.