Woman killed at Snowman Rally remembered

Joy Robson from Skye who died after being hit by a rally car. Picture: submitted
Joy Robson from Skye who died after being hit by a rally car. Picture: submitted
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TRIBUTES have been paid to a “bubbly” nursery assistant killed by a race car which crashed into crowds at the Snowman Rally in the Highlands.

Mum-of-four Joy Robson, from Skye, was at Glenurquhart Forest in Balnain when the tragedy, in which an eight-year-old boy was also hurt, happened on Saturday.

The tributes were led by her 18-year-old son Jack, who wrote on his Facebook page: “I didn’t just lose my mam, I lost a loving, caring woman. A best friend.

“You never know what’s around the corner in life but make sure you take your time and make the right decisions.

“Love her to bits and will always be in our memories.”

She was struck by a Honda Civic which went out of control and careered off a forest track during the opening stage of the rally.

The mum and a boy who was with his father and brother were trapped under the vehicle.

Up to 20 spectators helped lift the car off the pair, but Mrs Robson was pronounced dead at the scene.

The 50-year-old had worked for five years at Mcdiarmid Primary School at Skeabost Bridge, seven miles from her home in Portree.

She was in charge of a nursery of 11 pupils. There are a further 51 pupils at the primary school, where she assisted with other school activities.

Mrs Robson, who also supervised pupils at Portree High School hostel in the evenings and raised funds for her local lifeboat, was described as a bubbly character who was popular with staff and pupils and the wider school community.

She was remembered at school assembly this morning.

In a letter to parents and carers, headteacher Susan Lumley said: “It is with great sadness that we inform you of the devastating death of Joy Robson.

“She was a super Nursery Assistant and the children, parents and staff will all miss her bubbly personality around the school. Our thoughts are with her family at this time.”

Northern Constabulary are investigating the circumstances of the accident at the Snowman Rally, which was cancelled following the tragedy.

Portree councillor Drew Miller said: “As a community we’ll do our best to rally round the family.”

And an RNLI Portree spokesman said: “Joy was a very popular member of our fundraising team and will be sadly missed. Our thoughts go to her family.”

Sandy Gray, lifeboat operations manager, added: “She was a bubbly \nd evervescent person and well respected in the community.

“She was an important part of the team and will be sorely missed. Everyone is so shocked at the news.”

The injured eight-year-old, from the Inverness area, was taken to the city’s Raigmore Hospital.

He suffered minor injuries but was kept in overnight for observation. The boy was discharged on Sunday.

Neither the driver, Graeme Schoneville, 26, of Carluke, nor the co-driver of the rally car were injured in the incident.

They were described as being “devastated” by what had happened.

In a statement, the Highland Car Club said: “Following an incident on special stage 1 of the Snowman Rally in which an adult spectator was fatally injured the event has been abandoned.

“The club extends its sympathies to the families of those involved.”

The statement said the club would be co-operating fully with Northern Constabulary’s investigation.

The event attracted 110 competing crews and was due to include five stages.