South Scotland

Jim Clark Rally crash deaths: Minister orders motorsport safety review

Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill has announced a review of motorsport safety in Scotland after three spectators were killed at a rally in the Borders.

Iain John Provan, 64, and Elizabeth Allan, 63, both of Barrhead, and John Leonard Stern, 71, of Bearsden, died in the crash on Saturday.

Mr MacAskill said Scotland had a "proud history" in the world of motorsport.

However, he said lessons had to be learned from what happened at the weekend in order to avoid any repeat.

The justice secretary said the review would involve Police Scotland, the Motor Sports Association, Scottish Borders Council and other "key stakeholders".

He also confirmed a "health check" of events scheduled for the summer would be undertaken by police.

Image copyright PA
Image caption The fatal crash took place at Little Swinton, near Coldstream

"This incident came as a tremendous shock to the Berwickshire community and to the wider motorsport family," said Mr MacAskill.

"Saturday was a black day for the rally, for the Borders and for Scotland.

"But we must learn lessons and we will learn lessons."

Mr MacAskill said a full police investigation was under way into the circumstances of the crash, which took place at about 16:00 on Saturday at Little Swinton, near Coldstream.

He stressed that a decision on whether or not to hold a fatal accident inquiry would lie with the Lord Advocate alone.

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Media captionA spectator describes his video of a near miss at the Jim Clark Rally

Ettrick, Roxburgh and Berwickshire MSP John Lamont has welcomed the review and full investigation.

However, he urged caution against "knee-jerk reactions".

"The deaths of these spectators had a huge impact on the Berwickshire community, and it is only right that we do everything in our power to prevent another accident like this occurring," he said.

"The review being set up by the Scottish government into motorsport event safety should be a positive step towards ensuring that we never see a repeat of these deaths.

"The Jim Clark Rally is a long established event in the Borders and whilst everyone is shocked by the events at the weekend, I think it would be regrettable if any premature decisions were taken about the event's future."

Meanwhile, police have now provided a dedicated email address for anyone wishing to send them video footage of the rally.

They can be sent to jimclarkrallypolicecctv@scotland.pnn.police.uk.

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