Man recalls mum's death in Scots rally crash tragedy

20 July 2017, 15:04

Edinburgh Sheriff Court

The son of a woman who was killed in a rally car accident has told an inquiry they were moving to a safer spot when the crash happened.

Dean Robson said they had decided to move because the spot they were standing in at the Snowman Rally near Inverness was "dangerous'' because the cars were coming closer to them, but ``unfortunately it was too late''.

Mr Robson said he saw a car coming down the track which looked like it was losing control before his mother was hit.

Joy Robson, 51, died of multiple injuries sustained at the event in February 2013.

A joint fatal accident inquiry is examining the circumstances surrounding her death and the deaths of three other motor sport fans at a separate event in Scotland - the Jim Clark Rally near Coldstream in the Scottish Borders - the following year.

Giving evidence to the inquiry at Edinburgh Sheriff Court, Mr Robson, 25, from Skye, said he and his mother were standing with others up the track from a hairpin bend.

Watching footage recorded by a spectator, he said: "We thought the position we were standing in was no longer safe as cars were coming down the hill and coming closer and closer.

"We made the decision at that time to move, but unfortunately it was too late.

"As the track was getting more ripped up, the cars were sliding a lot closer and closer to us. It was in that moment we started thinking, 'this is actually quite dangerous'.''

He said they decided:  "Let's get out of here, something's going to happen'', and planned to leave the rally stage as there was "potentially a hazard in every direction''.

Mr Robson added: "I had already started walking away from where my mother had got hit by the car. We were moving.''

When the accident happened, he said he had started moving down the track and thought his mother was right behind him.

He heard a car coming and turned round to see it looked like it was ``potentially going to crash'', and he moved into the trees at the side of the track then fell down a hidden dip.

"It was only a split-second. She would have been behind me. I thought she was following me,'' he said.

"I could hear trees crunching, screams and shouts. I looked to see where my mother was, and saw that my mother was on the floor. There was a tree hanging over her.''

Mr Robson told the inquiry others helped him lift the tree off his mother and said he felt it was a "long time'' before paramedics arrived.

He said: "She was in and out of consciousness, screaming and shouting and then passing out.''

Mr Robson said his mother was taken to an ambulance and was successfully resuscitated two or three time before a fourth attempt failed and a doctor informed him she had died.

Rally driver Graeme Schoneville, 31, gave evidence on Wednesday of his car somersaulting into the air and rolling over several times when he hit a rock on the gravel track.

He later found out that a woman had died and a child had been injured in the accident.