Tributes paid to Jim Clark Rally death victims

Tributes have been paid to three rally fans who died when a car spun off course and ploughed into the crowd

Police at the scene near Coldstream
Police at the scene near Coldstream

Tributes have been paid to three rally fans who died when a car spun off course and ploughed into the crowd.

Iain Provan, Elizabeth Allan and Len Stern were killed in what was the second of two crashes during the Jim Clark Rally in the Scottish Borders on Saturday afternoon.

Two other injured men, both 61, are still in hospital - one in a stable condition and one in a critical but stable condition in Edinburgh Royal Infirmary.

The fatal accident took place at about 4pm on Saturday just over the English border at Little Swinton, near Coldstream.

Mr Provan, 64, and his partner Ms Allan, 63, had travelled to the event from Barrhead, near Glasgow, while 71-year-old Mr Stern had made a similar journey from Bearsden, also near Glasgow.

A picture posted on social media shows the 64-year-old with a camera taking notes on the first day of the three-day rally.

Photographer Stephen Tait wrote on Facebook: “I met Iain at last year’s Jim Clark, lovely man, and this year I have had the pleasure of covering some events for him.

“Will miss chatting with him and working for him. My condolences go out to his family and friends and also the others, Elizabeth and Len, who were involved in this.”

Chris Collie also posted: “A very nice man that I met and spoke to only a few times but his passion for rallying was in no doubt. Always looking to speak with me and find out my rally plans.

“RIP Iain, Elizabeth and John. Thoughts are with your families.”

Famous names from the world of motor sport have also expressed their sadness at the deaths.

Former Formula One world champion Jenson Button posted on Twitter: “Terribly sad news from the Jim Clark rally, my thoughts are with those involved and the families that have lost loved ones.”

Flowers have been left near the crash site with one bouquet carrying a card reading: “The sport that we all love is very cruel at times.”

Investigations into the deaths are continuing, with Scottish Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill and the top prosecutor, Lord Advocate Frank Mulholland, being briefed by police.

The crashed car was removed from the scene by officers yesterday as forensic specialists worked in the area. Private ambulances also left the area as the bodies were recovered.

About 250 competitors had been taking part in the rally, which is said to be one of the largest in the UK. Thousands of spectators watch the action but it was immediately abandoned after the fatal crash.

Two hours earlier another car in the rally left the road and hit five people, one woman and four men, near Crosshall Farm on the Eccles stage of the competition.

Police have appealed for witnesses to the fatal crash, and the earlier one near Eccles, to contact them.

Officers are particularly interested to speak to anyone who has video footage or photographs of the rally and may have captured the collisions.

Police said the investigation is at “an early stage” and officers remain at the scene.

Detective superintendent Kenneth Graham said: “We would ask that anyone who has any video footage or photographs, or has any other information that may help with our investigation, to contact police immediately on 101.”

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