AN INVESTIGATION is underway into an accident at Highland car rally, in which a 50-year-old woman was killed and an eight-year-old boy injured.
Joy Robson, believed to be a nursery school teacher from Portree on the Isle of Skye, died when she was hit by the Honda Civic driven by Lanarkshire’s Graeme Schoneville while she was spectating at the Inverness-based Snowman Rally.
The injured eight-year-old boy was treated at the scene by one of the rally medical crews before being taken by road ambulance to Raigmore Hospital in Inverness. His injuries are not believed to be life-threatening.
The rally, the opening event in the ARR Craib Scottish Rally Championship, was immediately cancelled.
The incident happened just over six miles into the opening nine-mile stage of the Snowman Rally at Balnain, in Glen Urquhart Forest, about five miles west of Loch Ness.
A number of the early drivers who passed through the opening stage commented about the number of spectators lining the stage when they reached the timing control at the end of the forest track.
“I’ve been competing in the Snowman for a number of years, but the crowds in the opening stage were bigger than I ever remember,” one driver said.
“It’s a fair walk into the stage – and, of course, it’s free – but because of the number of people watching, there was just no margin for error for the drivers.
“Rally cars, at high speed, can change direction in a split second, but today’s incident is just tragic.”
A full investigation into the accident is being carried out by the Northern Constabulary and a report will be submitted to the procurator-fiscal.
Both the Northern Constabulary and the rally organisers declined to comment last night.