• STV
  • MySTV

Rally driver recalls seeing woman 'flying in the air'

David Carney lost control of car before crash in which three people died.

Rally: Len Stern, Betty Allan and Iain Provan all lost their lives.
Rally: Len Stern, Betty Allan and Iain Provan all lost their lives.

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

David Carney, 29, from Ireland, said he lost control of the vehicle after going over a bridge and then realised he was heading towards spectators.

He "every time I close my eyes at night I still see three people lying in the road", more than three years on from the crash.

Mr Carney, who not longer takes part in rally events, 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.

The death of Joy Robson, 51, at the Snowman Rally in Glenurquhart in the Highlands the previous year is also being examined in the joint inquiry.

Mr Carney told Edinburgh Sheriff Court he had been an amateur rally driver since 2008, competing in races at home and overseas, and had driven the Jim Clark Rally in 2013.

He said his vehicle had come off the road during the rally the day before the crash on May 31 and hit a tree.

Mr Carney said it had been repaired by his team of engineers then undergone further repairs on the day of the crash as the rear had felt unusual during the morning stages.

He said once those repairs had been carried out the car "felt perfect" and he had expected to go over the bridge with no problems.

The court was shown photos of the car landing and swerving to the left then right.

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."

He told police in a statement: "I knew at this time I was a passenger as I had the steering wheel fully locked and I couldn't do anything else."

https://stv.tv/news/north/1393869-driver-concerned-for-spectators-before-fatal-rally-crash/ | default

Mr Carney told the court: "The car continued to turn round 180 degrees while sliding back off the road."

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."

He said there was "disbelief" after the car came to a stop and he got out to see if he could help the people lying on the ground.

Mr Carney said: "I went over to someone who was getting up from all fours and someone was running down to them. I said 'sorry'.

"I wanted to try to help in some way but I didn't know how."

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 concluding 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 had been going too fast.

He said: "It seemed to be OK from the moment we left the bridge to the split second we landed and then it just went."

Earlier on Thursday, marshal Tom Roger, 27, told the inquiry the crash site was a like a "war zone".

He said if he had known people were standing in the area before the crash he would have stopped the cars but he had been standing further along the road out of sight of the area.

One account. All of STV.

This field is required. That doesn't look like a valid e-mail format, please check. That e-mail's already in our system. Please try again.
ShowHide
Forgot password?
This field is required. At least 6 characters please. Did you enter your details correctly?
If you've forgotten your details then use the 'Forgot password?' link.
Need to reset your password?

We'll send a link to reset your password to

We've sent you details on how to reset your password

Please check your email and follow the instructions.

Forgotten your email address?

Have you forgotten the email address that you previously joined with? Don't worry, by emailing enquiries@stv.tv we can help.

One account. All of STV.

This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
At least 6 characters please
ShowHide
This field is required. At least 6 characters please.
You have to be 16 or over to join
This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid date
Type your full postcode and select your address This field is required. It doesn't look like you've entered a valid postcode. Can't find your address? Confirm the details you've given us are correct by clicking here

By continuing you agree to our Terms of Use, including our Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy. Any issues contact us.

Upload Profile Picture

Please make sure your image is under 2mb in size and a valid JPG, PNG or GIF.

Are you sure?

Unfortunately, you'll be unable to access our premium content. We’ll be sorry to see you go, but if you change your mind you can rejoin us at any time.

Please verify your STV account

Please verify your STV account using the email we sent you. If you have lost the email, we can send you another one, just click the button below.

Thanks

We've sent you a new verification email.
Please check your email and follow the instructions to verify your account.

Welcome to STV
Thanks for joining us.

Oops!

Sorry, you must be at least 12 years old to place a vote for your Real Hero.

Please review our Voting Terms of Use for more information.

Oops!

Sorry! It seems that you are using a browser that is incompatible with our voting service.

To register your vote please copy the below URL in to your regular mobile browser. We recommend Google Chrome, or Safari.

http://shows.stv.tv/real-heroes/voting

Oops!

Sorry, you seem to have already voted in this category.

Thanks for voting

Now share your vote with friends on your social network

Share on twitter Share on facebook

Cast your vote

Please register or sign in to continue.

Cast your vote

This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid date

Cast your vote

Please fill out this form to cast your vote. As you are under 16 years old you will not create an STV account. Why do we need these details?

This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. That doesn't look like a valid e-mail format, please check.
Location This field is required.
Parental Consent This field is required.

That's you. All that's left is to click the 'Submit Vote' button below. By doing so, you confirm that you and your parent or guardian have read and accept our Voting Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Cookie policy, and that the details you have entered are correct. We'll look after them as carefully as if they were our own.