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Spectator dies while watching rally car event in Scottish Borders

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A 73-year-old man was taken unwell in the Abbey St Bathans area of Duns at around 7.40pm on Friday (May 26).

The man was later pronounced dead at the scene.

A statement from the organisers of the rally said: “It is with immense sadness that we inform the community of the passing of a Jim Clark Rally spectator, who was taken unwell and pronounced dead at the scene, on Friday, May 26, 2023.


“Jim Clark Rally officials acted immediately to assist emergency services after receiving a notification through the command centre. We remain in contact and continue to assist emergency services.

“The thoughts and condolences of everyone at the Jim Clark Rally go out to man’s family, friends and loved ones.”

In a statement yesterday, a Police Scotland spokesperson said: “Around 7.40pm on Friday, May 26, 2023, police were made aware of a 73-year-old man having taken unwell at the Jim Clark Rally in the Abbey St Bathans area of Duns.

“Emergency services attended and the man was pronounced dead at the scene.”

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Thousands of people are in the Borders for the motorsport event, which kicked off on Friday and will end on Sunday.

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The Jim Clark Rally returned in 2019 following a five-year hiatus after three people were killed in a crash at the event. 

Tighter controls on where people are permitted to watch the event have since been introduced. 

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