A sheriff has ruled there were “no reasonable precautions” to avoid the death of a motorsport fan at the Snowman Rally near Inverness.
A Fatal Accident Inquiry was held into the death of spectator Joy Robson, 51, at the event in 2013.
Sheriff Kenneth Maciver QC carried out a joint inquiry into Mrs Robson’s death and that of three spectators at the Jim Clark Rally near Coldstream in 2014.
Photographer Iain Provan, 64, his 63-year-old partner Elizabeth Allan, known as Betty, and Len Stern, 71, died after a car lost control and left the road at the rally in May that year.
The joint inquiry at Edinburgh Sheriff Court earlier this year examined the circumstances at both events.
Delivering his written findings, Sheriff Maciver found there were “no reasonable precautions” by which Mrs Robson’s death could have been avoided.
But he ruled that the deaths at the Jim Clark rally might have been avoided if people had been prohibited from standing in the area where the crash happened, north of the Leet Bridge.
Looking at any relevant “defects” in the systems of working, he wrote: “In respect of the Jim Clark Rally 2014, I find that there was a weak, ambiguous, and ultimately inadequate verification system for checking the proper performance of the work of stage commanders or stage setup crews in delineating and clearly identifying areas which, for safety reasons, were prohibited for spectators.”
He made no findings in this section in relation to the Snowman rally.
Sheiff Maciver found that all four people died after sustaining multiple injuries in the collisions with cars which lost control involuntarily.
He has issued 12 recommendations for rally organisers and other authorities and issued a further 11 matters for consideration after hearing evidence over many days this summer.
A spokesman for the Jim Clark Rally said: “Those involved in the organisation of the rally have received a copy of the sheriff’s determination.
“This is quite a lengthy report which will have to be read and digested.
“After which the senior officials will meet up to discuss it and its findings.”