Police close Swinton House Road, where the fatal accident took place. Picture: Phil Johnson
Police close Swinton House Road, where the fatal accident took place. Picture: Phil Johnson

Reaction to the news that three spectators were killed after being hit by a rally car competing at the Jim Clark Rally.


Alex Salmond, Scotland’s First Minister

“This is desperately sad and difficult news from the Borders of the tragic circumstances that have occurred at the Jim Clark Rally.

“The police have confirmed three fatalities and my thoughts are with all of those involved and the families and loved ones of those who have lost their lives.

“The government is in contact with Police Scotland and we await the outcome of their inquiries.

“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.”


John Lamont, Berwickshire MSP

“This is tragic news for the Borders, and my thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families.

“I know that 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.

“I live just a few miles away from the scene of the accident and I know that everyone is shocked and saddened by this dreadful news.”


Spokesperson for motor sport’s governing body, the Motor Sports Association

“Everyone in the motor sport community is devastated by the terrible events this afternoon on the Jim Clark Rally.

“The families and friends of those who have lost their lives and of those who have been injured are in all our thoughts as they face such an awful situation.

“Police Scotland are now in control of all aspects of the investigations into the two accidents and both the Police and hospital authorities will issue further bulletins when they can. Everyone waits anxiously for some better news of those who have been injured.

“As with any serious incident, today’s accidents will also be subject to full enquiries by the MSA to ensure that any lessons are learned to assist in the constant drive to provide the highest possible safety standards at all motor sport events.”


Organisers of the Jim Clark Rally

“The organisers of the Jim Clark Rally would like to extend their heartfelt condolences and sympathy to all of the families and their friends who have been affected by today’s tragic events.

“Our thoughts are especially with those who have lost family members and to the families of the injured spectators.

“All members of the organising team are in shock and are cooperating fully with Police Scotland to establish the facts.”


Allan McNish, FIA World Endurance Champion, 24 Hour Le Mans Winner

Shocked to hear the terrible news from the Jim Clark Rally. My thoughts are with the families involved.


Graham Garvie, Scottish Borders Council Convener

“All our thoughts are with the families who have lost loved ones or whose loved ones were injured as a result of the tragic accidents. We offer them our sincerest condolences.

“The Jim Clark Rally and rallying generally is a longstanding and important part of our culture here in the Borders and our close knit community has been hit hard by yesterday’s events.

“The Council, working with partner agencies, will ensure it offers the maximum level of support not just to our local communities, but to everyone affected by yesterday’s tragic events.“


Alan Johnstone, Jim Clark Rally media manager

“This is the first fatality we have had and it’s been one very bad day. We try our level, level best to get it as safe as possible. You’ll never get it 100% by its very nature.” (speaking to ITV)


Kenny MacAskill, justice secretary

“he Jim Clark Rally is a long-standing event and has been part of the local community for over 40 years. This incident will have come as a tremendous shock to the local community and wider motoring family. All across Scotland people are sharing the sadness of this tragic event and stand ready to support the local community.

“Above all, our thoughts are with the family and friends of those affected.”


Dario Franchitti, IndyCar driver

“My thoughts go out to all those affected by the accidents at the Jim Clark rally. A very sad time.” (Twitter, @dariofranchitti)


Jenson Button, Formula 1 driver

“Terribly sad news from the Jim Clark rally, my thoughts are with those involved and the families that have lost loved ones.” (Twitter, @JensonButton)


Paul Di Resta, Formula 1 driver

“Sad news at the Jim Clark rally. Thoughts are with everyone involved.” (Twitter, @pauldirestaf1)


Michael Cook, Berwickshire councillor

“This is an event which has been taking place here for many, many years. It’s been going without incident for over 40 years now and to have this happen has really rocked the community. It’s a black day, there is no getting away from that fact.”

“It’s a key event in the sporting and cultural calendar of Berwickshire and the Borders. It’s taken place over many years incident-free, and it’s now been rocked by tragedy and that’s desperate news for everyone here and motorsport enthusiasts.

“We’re very proud of the tradition of motor sport in this area and clearly the rally is something which has been a hugely significant event for us over the years.”


Michael Moore, Borders MP

”My thoughts and prayers are with the families and friends of those who were so tragically killed at the weekend as they watched the Jim Clark rally. Likewise, I hope those who have been injured will have a speedy and complete recovery.

“The emergency services and countless others worked tirelessly on Saturday following the accidents and it is important that we all acknowledge and pay huge tribute to their efforts.

“There is still a palpable sense of shock everywhere in the Borders this morning, as there has been throughout the weekend. We also understand locally that the tragic loss of life is felt across the country and amongst all who follow motor sport.

“Like many in the Borders I have followed the rally myself on many occasions and find it hard to take in what has happened this year. Many questions are now being asked and we must ensure that Police Scotland, the sport’s governing body, the rally organisers and other agencies, such as the council, all have the time and resources required to ensure they are answered.”