The Jim Clark Rally, Round Two of the 2014 MSA British Rally Championship, has been cancelled following two incidents today that have claimed the lives of three spectators and injured six others.
The most serious incident of the two came at around 4pm when a competing vehicle left the road on the sixteenth stage ‘Swinton’ and struck four spectators, causing three fatalities.
Police Scotland said: “Three people died this afternoon after a car collided with spectators at the Jim Clark Rally near Kelso at around 4pm. Three people were pronounced dead at the scene. 4th person was taken to hospital in Edinburgh. Emergency services were in attendance.
“In an earlier incident at 2.05pm, a rally car collided with five people. Four were treated at scene, the 5th person taken to hospital. Investigations into both incidents are ongoing.”
In a press conference this evening, Police Scotland confirmed that one female and two males died in the incident, with one male transferred to the high dependency unit at Edinburgh Royal Infirmary in a critical condition.
Emergency services, including an air ambulance and a large police presence, were at the scene after the incident, which took place on the B6461 road at Little Swinton near Coldstream in the Scottish Borders.
Eyewitness Tony Cowan told BBC News: “It was just one car which lost control. It went sideways one way and then to the other side of the road and ploughed into four people.
“It was terrible, absolutely terrible. I ran to help but there was little I could do. The air ambulance arrived after about three quarters of an hour. There were police cars and ambulances. It was chaos, just chaos.”
The front-running BRC cars were running on SS16 at the time of the incident, with Daniel McKenna leading the event from Osian Pryce. The rally was cancelled with immediate effect with two stages to go, the Kelso-based event being the only closed-road rally in the mainland UK.
Police Scotland also confirmed in the press conference that from the 2.05pm incident on the ‘Eccles’ stage, one male is in intensive care at Edinburgh Royal Infirmary. They also confirmed that two males sustained fractures and are at Borders General Hospital, while one female and one male sustained minor injuries and have been discharged.