Lessons 'to be learned from rally crash tragedy'

JUSTICE Secretary Kenny MacAskill has said important lessons can be learned after the deaths of three people at a car rally in the Scottish Borders.

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  • MacAskill has said lessons must be learned from the rally tragedy
    MacAskill has said lessons must be learned from the rally tragedy
  • MacAskill has said lessons must be learned from the rally tragedy

The tragedy on Saturday claimed the lives of Iain John Provan, 64, and Elizabeth Allan, 63, both of Barrhead, and John Leonard Stern, 71, of Bearsden.

It was the second of two crashes at the Jim Clark Rally on the same day.

Speaking after a briefing with police investigating the incident, Mr MacAskill said: "Three deaths are a tragedy in any occasion but this was an occasion that was meant to be joyful.

"It's been ongoing in this community for 44 years, so I think we want to make sure that we learn lessons and that will be another factor that will go in parallel.

"How do we address what occurred and learn lessons from that?

"But how do we ensure in Scotland, where we pride ourselves in not just events relating to motorsport but other events as we come forward to the Commonwealth Games, how can we ensure that people who go to those events have the greatest possible assurance that they will be safe?"

Mr MacAskill is expected to update Parliament today about his discussions with police and the local council.

Investigations are still continuing into the accident which happened when a car came off the track and crashed into spectators.

Earlier, police appealed for spectators to submit video footage or any other information that may help them determine what happened. Chief superintendent Gill Imery of Police Scotland, the area commander for the Lothians and Borders, said the police investigation was at an early stage and involved painstaking work.

She said: "The investigation is at an information-gathering phase.

"We are looking to gather all of the information so that decisions can be made on the progress and the direction of that investigation.

"I'd like to reassure (people) that it is part of a very thorough investigation by Police Scotland, and that we are confident that we will get all of the information.

"If people have got footage of the incident, or indeed information about that, there is a plea for people to come forward and contribute that information and be assured it would be taken account of in the decision-making as to the direction the investigation takes going forward."

Asked whether negligence was one aspect being looked at by police, she said: "We are looking at every possibility in terms of an outcome."

A card laid beside floral tributes in Little Swinton, near where the incident happened, read: "The sport that we all love is very cruel at times. Deepest sympathy for all concerned", while another read: "You were a great Uncle...R.I.P. Uncle Len."


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