Off-road driver dies after vehicle plunges 200 feet

A MAN has died after plunging 200 feet down an embankment during an off-road driving event.

The 23-year-old from West Lothian was pronounced dead at the scene after emergency services rushed to his vehicle at Hillfoot Farm, near Coupar Angus.

Reports today identified the man as Andrew Guinan from Livingston.

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The alarm was raised by members of the Tay 4x4 Club at around 1pm yesterday.

Paramedics, police and fire crews are understood to have struggled to reach the vehicle because of the rough terrain. The man was pronounced dead at the scene.

Tayside Police search and rescue was mobilised, along with fire crews from Coupar Angus and Blairgowrie stations, a supporting appliance from Perth and a specialist heavy rescue unit.

Tayside Fire and Rescue station manager Graham Smart said a meeting had taken place to discuss how to remove the driver from the scene.

Mr Smart said: "Our initial crews attending were faced with an extremely challenging situation to gain access to the incident, mainly due to the steep terrain and remoteness of the crash site.

"Poor underfoot conditions meant the transportation of extrication and trauma equipment could only be achieved using additional 4x4 capabilities.

"Tragically, the driver was pronounced dead by Tayside Trauma Team as we arrived at the scene and a plan was then put in place to remove him safely from the hillside.

"I would like to thank the crews and other emergency services who attended today for their combined efforts.

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"Fire and rescue crews remained in attendance for some time to assist police making the scene safe to remove the driver from the hillside."

A Scottish Ambulance Service spokesman said a helicopter had initially been dispatched to rush the man to hospital.

He said: "The casualty was trapped inside the vehicle.

"The Ninewells Hospital trauma team was in attendance, a double-paramedic ambulance was sent out and a helicopter was dispatched."

It is understood that no-one else was involved in the incident, which took place during a day-long driving event. Hillfoot Farm at Kinrossie is a regular meeting place for the Tay 4x4 Club, which has more than 70 members.

Chairman and events organiser David Tindal said he could make no comment.

A police spokesman said a report would be sent to the procurator fiscal. The man's next of kin are believed to have been informed.