South Scotland

Jim Clark Rally spectator safety officer was 'apprehensive'

Crash scene Image copyright PA
Image caption Three people died in the accident at the Jim Clark Rally in 2014

The spectator safety officer at a rally at which three people died has told an inquiry he thought "long and hard" before taking up the role.

Charles Tynan, 58, from North Shields, was giving evidence to an inquiry into events at the Jim Clark Rally in 2014.

He became upset as he watched a video of people standing in a prohibited area where the fatal crash occurred.

He said he had been "apprehensive" about taking up the position and had not known what to expect.

Mr Tynan told a fatal accident inquiry into the deaths of Iain Provan, Elizabeth Allan and Len Stern he had regularly attended the rally for a number of years.

"I had an idea of what we should do," he said and added that he had spoken to a number of people and knew that more spectators gathered in spots where there were "jumps".

'Sorted it out'

Advocate depute, Andrew Brown QC, asked him if he had an awareness where prohibited areas started and finished and how he would know if people were in a prohibited area or not.

He replied: "I am not sure about that, but I had experience.

"If I saw someone standing in an area I thought dangerous, I would have sorted it out."

He was shown a marshalling plan of areas of concern, but the Swinton stage, where the accident occurred was not included.

He was also shown a plan of the area between the Leet Water humpback bridge and East Lodge, and asked if he recognised it was a prohibited area and said that he did.

Mr Tynan said he was surprised how many spectators were at the Swinton stage and that he had moved people who were standing at the side of the road before the bridge, telling them to go further back.

'No people'

Shown a video of two men wearing green tabards and holding camera equipment and other spectators in the area of the crash, Mr Tynan said: "Sorry, I have not seen this before. I am shocked.

"As God is my witness, I have no recollection of their being there.

"When we went past there were no people there."

He said he had moved two photographers earlier and assumed they were the same people.

Looking at the video, he said: "That's a shocker. That video scares the wits out of me when I see people standing like that".

The inquiry continues.

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