Joint Inquiry Into Deaths At Two Rally Events To Begin In July

Forensic teams at the scene of crash

The joint fatal accident inquiry (FAI) into the deaths of four motor sport fans at two separate rallies will be held this summer.

The probe will examine the death of Joy Robson at the Snowman Rally in Inverness in 2013, as well as those of Iain Provan, Elizabeth Allan and Len Stern at the Jim Clark Rally in the Scottish Borders the following year.

It represents the first time one inquiry is held into deaths which occurred in different parts of Scotland.

The full inquiry is set to begin at Edinburgh Sheriff Court on July 17, with a preliminary hearing timetabled for next week.

The Crown Office announced in December that a change in legislation would allow for the joint FAI to be held.

Since both incidents involved spectators at rallies, Lord Advocate James Wolffe QC considered it to be in the public interest for a single inquiry to examine all the issues together.

The probe will look at ''the full circumstances surrounding the deaths and help to avoid such incidents happening in the future'', officials said.

The Crown also confirmed last year that no criminal proceedings would be brought in relation to either event, although that could be reconsidered if additional evidence comes to light.

Ms Robson, 50, died after being struck by a car taking part in the Snowman Rally in February 2013.

Mr Provan, 64, his partner Ms Allan, 63, and Mr Stern, 71, were all fatally injured when a car involved in the Jim Clark Rally spun off the course in May 2014.

It emerged last month that the Jim Clark event has been suspended until the completion of the FAI.

It had been an annual event dating back to 1970 to celebrate world champion Jim Clark, but it has not been held since the deaths. Organisers hope it can be held next year.

Confirming the FAI dates, a Crown Office spokesman said: ''A preliminary hearing has been fixed for February 7 at Edinburgh Sheriff Court with the inquiry due to begin on July 17 at Edinburgh.''