Spectators at fatal rally ‘told to move’

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A SURVIVOR of the fatal accident at the Jim Clark Rally in the Borders has claimed race marshals moved spectators to the spot where they were hit by an out-of-control car.

East Lothian farmworker Thomas Tait, 45, was standing “shoulder to shoulder” with the three people who died in the second of two crashes at the event on Saturday.

Thomas Tait. Picture: Scott Taylor

Thomas Tait. Picture: Scott Taylor

He was watching the race with his son, also Thomas, when the crash happened just after a bridge which the cars often “jump”.

Mr Tait, from East Linton, said that before the crash, marshals moved the group from a spot 50 yards before the bridge, to an area just after the bridge, saying they would be “safer there”.

Mr Tait said he had disagreed with them, saying it looked “far more dangerous because it was just after the jump”.

He said: “About seven cars after they had told us to move to the new spot, this one car came flying down the road, over the jump and was totally out of control when he 
landed.”

Mr Tait was knocked unconscious in the accident but said he had had a “miracle escape”, surviving the smash with just a few cuts and bruises. His son was unhurt.

Mr Tait said: “I woke up a few yards from the crash. I don’t know whether I leapt out of the way, but I had been knocked unconscious.

“For that particular rally they should just shut that whole bit of road to spectators. It’s far too dangerous and claimed too many lives.”

Chief marshal Dave Brodie has declined to comment on the claims. Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill was due to make a statement on the accident to MSPs today.