Rally death spectators 'not warned' by organisers, inquiry finds

21 November 2017, 13:18

An inquiry into the deaths of three spectators at a car rally in the Scottish Borders has found that they should have been warned by organisers not to stand where they were hit.

The fatal accident inquiry (FAI) has concluded there was a "weak, ambiguous and inadequate" system for checking the warnings to people of unsafe vantage points at the Jim Clark Rally in May 2014.

The three spectators who died were 64-year-old Iain Provan, his partner Elizabeth Allan, 63, and 71-year-old Len Stern.

They were hit when a vehicle, with Irish driver David Carney at the wheel, skidded off the road and ploughed into the crowd.

The FAI also examined the death of 51-year-old Joy Robson at the Highland Snowman Rally bear Inverness in 2013. She was hit by a vehicle after it left the track.

In her case, Sheriff Kenneth MacIver concluded: "There are no reasonable precautions which I can identify whereby Mrs Robson's death or the accident causing her death could have been avoided."

In the case of the Jim Clark Rally, the sheriff found that the spot where the three spectators were killed should have been identified, in line with the organisers plan, so that it clearly prohibited spectators from standing anywhere near.

In his determination, he said the deaths were down to "no single person and no single circumstance" but was due to a "perfect storm" of circumstances.

He found that there had been an "unlikely coincidence" of errors and omissions in the event's organisation which had created a "perfect storm" that led to a disastrous consequence.

Andrew Henderson, the solicitor representing Joy Robson's said: "For Joy's children this was never about trying to stop rallying but rather to improve safety for the spectators.

"They always believed that the best way to do this was through the FAI process so that evidence could be properly evaluated and recommendations made.

"This is a very difficult time for them but they are absolutely resolute in their wish that no other family should ever go through the horror they have and that rallying is made as safe for its fans as it can possibly be."