Peyton, Heidi, Rhys and Gemma Cousin Image copyright Police Scotland
Image caption Rhys and Gemma Cousin’s family said the couple were devoted to their children Peyton, three, and Heidi, one

A couple who died in a crash in the Highlands along with their two young children have been described as being “totally devoted” to their girls.

Gemma Cousin, 26, her husband Rhys, 25, and their daughters Peyton, three, and Heidi, one, were killed in a collision with another car on Thursday.

The crash happened on the A82 at Torlundy, near Fort William, just after 17:30.

A family statement said they “had so much to look forward to”.

The statement, released through Police Scotland, said: “Both families are heartbroken by the tragic loss of Gemma, Rhys, Peyton and Heidi.

“They were a young family with so much to look forward to. To have their lives cut short so suddenly and in such circumstances is utterly devastating.”

‘Loss felt far and wide’

The statement added: “As a young couple, Gemma and Rhys worked really hard to provide a loving, secure and safe home and family life for their girls who they were totally devoted to. They were known by many with both families being extended and their loss will be felt far and wide.

“Due to the horrific circumstances we would like to thank the emergency services and everyone who was involved on the night. We would also like to thank everyone for the support we continue to receive.

“As a family, we now respectfully ask that we are given the time and privacy to grieve and to come to terms with the loss of Rhys, Gemma, Peyton and Heidi.”

Image caption The A82 at the scene of the fatal crash was closed for 11 hours to allow for a police investigation

The family, who were from the Inverness area, were travelling northbound in a green Mini Cooper when the crash happened.

The other vehicle involved was a red Ford Fiesta. The 56-year-old woman who was driving had to be cut free and suffered serious, but not life-threatening, injuries.

Police are appealing for anyone with information to come forward. They are keen to speak to anyone who saw either vehicle before the collision and anyone with dashcam footage.

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