UPDATE (5:47 p.m. EDT): The organizers of the Jim Clark Rally have released a statement about the two accidents on Saturday:
POLICE SCOTLAND – CORPORATE COMMUNICATIONS – EAST
Serious road collisions, Jim Clark Rally
Police Scotland are investigating two road collisions at the Jim Clark Rally in the Scottish Borders this afternoon.
A serious incident occurred around 4pm when a rally car came off the road near Kelso and collided with spectators.
Emergency services attended and three people were pronounced dead at the scene. The fourth person was conveyed to Edinburgh Royal Infirmary and is in a critical condition.
The Jim Clark Rally was stopped at that time.
An earlier incident occurred at 2.05pm, when a rally car collided with five people. Four people were treated at the scene and one person was conveyed to hospital where they are in a serious condition.
Police are in attendance at the scene and the investigation into both collisions is at an early stage.
The organisers of the Jim Clark Rally are devastated to confirm that three people have been killed while spectating on today’s event. The thoughts and prayers of everyone connected with the event are with the family and friends of those involved in this tragic accident.
This was the 44th running of the Jim Clark Rally, which has always been held in the Borders area of Scotland, around the town of Duns, home of Scottish motor racing legend Jim Clark. The event has previously had an excellent safety record.
The accident took place during Special Stage 16, Swinton, and the remaining two stages of the rally were immediately abandoned. Tomorrow’s Reivers Rally has also been abandoned.
The incident is now in the hands of Police Scotland. Berwick and District Motor Club, Border Ecosse Car Club and the governing body, the Motor Sports Association, 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 enquiry once the Police investigation is concluded.
Out of respect for those injured in the incidents on the 31st May and with due consideration for the feelings and goodwill of the community, the Stewards in consultation with Clerks of the Course have decided that the Reivers Rally to be held on the 1st June has been abandoned.
R. J. Reed D Swinton J Fenwick
Three people were killed Saturday in a collision at the Jim Clark Rally in Scotland, prompting race organizers to cancel the rest of the event. Another accident earlier in the day left five injured, one seriously.
A race official told STV News the accident involved a rally car colliding with spectators. A witness told the BBC a car lost control, “went sideways one way and then to the other side of the road and plowed into four people.”
It is not unusual for spectators to stand extremely close to the road during rally races, as can be seen in this highlight reel of last year’s Jim Clark Rally:
The accident took place outside Coldstream, Scotland near the English border on a section of the race called SS16 (Special Stage 16). Three people were pronounced dead on the scene and one other is critically injured. Eyewitnesses report around 15 emergency vehicles, 40 emergency personnel and an air ambulance were on scene.
â€” ChrisHawkswell, EP07 (@ChrisHawkswell) May 31, 2014
The Jim Clark Rally takes place from Friday-Sunday. The race is broken up into seven sections made up of special stages. SS16 was third special stage in the last of three sections for Saturday.
The United Kingdom's only closed road rally is named after Scottish auto racer Jim Clark, who was killed in a Formula Two accident in 1968.