Police name Borders Jim Clark rally crash dead

Crash investigation Image copyright PA
Image caption Police Scotland were continuing to investigate the crash on Sunday

The police have named three people who died at a motor rally in the Scottish Borders. They were all from near Glasgow.

They were Iain John Provan, 64, and Elizabeth Allan, 63, who were from Barrhead, and 71-year-old John Leonard Stern from Bearsden.

Police officers removed their bodies from the scene of the crash on Sunday.

They were left at the site of the incident near Coldstream as light faded on Saturday evening.

The crash involved a car taking part in the Jim Clark Rally which left the road at about 16:00 BST on Saturday

Two men remain in hospital after being injured in the Coldstream crash and another at nearby Eccles two hours earlier.

The 61-year-old man injured in the Coldstream collision is in a stable condition, while another 61-year-old man injured at Eccles is reported to be "critical but stable".

Rally organisers immediately halted the event after the fatal crash.

The section of road where that incident took place, at Little Swinton, remains sealed off while specialist officers carry out an investigation.

Sunday prayers

Andrew Kerr, BBC Scotland reporter

The Flodden Bell rang at the Swinton Kirk this morning to gather the faithful.

The minister, the Reverend Alan Cartwright, led worshipers.

Psalm 122 was to be the first hymn sung: "I joy'd when to the House of God".

It was replaced by the more sombre "O God our help in ages past".

Mr Cartwright spoke about the accident and remembered the victims in his prayers.

The stewards and spectators were also prayed for - "God was with them in their joy and in their pain," the minister said.

After the service, in the quiet kirkyard, the church members spoke of their shock that such a tragic incident took place in their community.

Removing bodies

Supt Phil O'Kane of Police Scotland said officers worked to "forensically and sympathetically remove the deceased" from the scene.

He added: "We will also ensure we contact the next of kin and we will put in place all necessary family support for them."

The rally car remains at the scene of the accident with two white tents also erected on the road.

A forensic officer was also seen filming at a junction close to where the crash took place.

Image copyright PA
Image caption The car involved in the second crash came to rest in a field close to a narrow bridge on the road
Image copyright PA
Image caption Police closed the road to allow investigation and recovery work to be carried out
Image copyright Paul Meegan
Image caption The event was cancelled immediately after a fatal collision at Little Swinton, near Coldstream on Saturday

One eyewitness of the second incident, Tony Cowan, told the BBC how the car "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," he said.

Race marshal Anne Reay said it was the "worst outcome you could have asked for".

Laura Bicker, BBC Scotland correspondent, said several witnesses had since contacted the BBC to say they were concerned about spectators standing in dangerous areas along the rally route.

"Clearly that is something the organisers will be looking at and something the police will be investigating as part of their inquiries," she said.

A statement on the Jim Clark Rally website extended organisers' "heartfelt condolences and sympathy" to all those affected by the "tragic events".

A statement added: "Berwick and District Motor Club, Border Ecosse Car Club and the governing body, the Motor Sports Association (MSA), are co-operating fully with the police investigation.

"As with any serious incident on a motor sport event, the MSA will conduct its own thorough inquiry once the police investigation is concluded."

'Black day'

Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond called the tragedy "desperately sad and difficult news".

He added: "The Jim Clark Rally is a long-standing event of over 40 years. It is much loved in the Borders and by the rally driving community who I know will share in our sadness at what is a black day for the Borders and for Scotland."

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Media captionMSP John Lamont: "There was a real sense of disbelief and shock"

Local MSP John Lamont said his "thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families".

"I know the rally organisers place considerable emphasis on the safety of the spectators and drivers but, with any event of this nature, there will always be an element of risk," he said.

Mr Lamont said it was "appropriate that questions are asked and investigations are carried out to ensure that in the future nothing like this happens again".

The annual rally takes place over three days on closed roads in the Duns and Kelso areas of the Borders, attracting thousands of people from across the UK.

It is held in honour of Scottish former Formula 1 champion Jim Clark, who died in a 1968 motor racing accident in Germany.

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