Saturday 23 September 2017

Irish rally driver tells of crash that killed three

Stock photo
Stock photo

Laura Paterson

The Irish driver of a rally car involved in a crash that killed three people broke down as he told an inquiry he saw a woman "flying in the air".

David Carney (29), from Co Mayo, said he lost control after going over a bridge, then realised he was heading towards spectators.

He said he no longer rallies, and more than three years on from the crash "every time I close my eyes at night I still see three people lying in the road".

He was giving evidence at a fatal accident inquiry examining the deaths of photographer Iain Provan (64), his partner Betty Allan (63), and Len Stern (71) at the Jim Clark Rally near Coldstream in the Scottish Borders in May 2014, as well as the death of Joy Robson (51) at the Snowman Rally in Glenurquhart the previous year.

Edinburgh Sheriff Court was shown photos of the incident. Mr Carney said: "I steered into the slide but the car just kept coming. It seemed to just go that quick, I couldn't catch it."

Andrew Brown QC, for the crown, asked him: "Were you aware that the car was heading towards spectators?"

Mr Carney became emotional as he replied: "Only when I looked after I knew the car was gone.

"I grabbed my helmet and started shouting 'no, no, no'. I knew I had lost control at that point ... It didn't seem real at first. I remember seeing dust and a woman flying in the air."

Mr Carney said he "couldn't figure out" why the car had crashed.

The inquiry heard from official reports stating there were no defects on the car and the crash at 81mph was likely to be either due to the car going too fast for the driver's ability, not being aligned to a slight deviation to the right on landing, not landing in proper alignment or a combination of these factors.

Mr Carney said he did not believe he was going too fast, and added: "It seemed to be OK from the moment we left the bridge to the split second we landed and then it just went."

Irish Independent

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