Kirkcaldy men caught in rally tragedy

Gary Donnelly, centre, with friends David Thomson and Reece Morrison.
Gary Donnelly, centre, with friends David Thomson and Reece Morrison.
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A KIRKCALDY man has told how he tried to help save the life of a woman spectator hit by a car which flipped off the track during a rally in Inverness at the weekend.

Gary Donnelly (42), of the town’s Dothan Road, was with friends David Thomson (28), and Reece Morrison (18), on a trip to watch the Snowman Rally organised by the Highland Car Club in Inverness on Saturday when the tragedy happened just feet from where they were standing.

And Gary said that if it weren’t for nearby trees which stopped the car, he and his friends could have been hit by the vehicle.

“It was the first stage of the race and some larger cars had already gone past us when the car came through the corner, seemed to hit a rut in the track and went into a barrel roll.

‘‘It was coming straight towards us but the trees stopped it. I just saw the woman push a little boy out the way, and I think that saved his life.”

The woman, Joy Robson (51), from the Isle of Skye, and an eight year old boy were trapped under the car which spectators quickly lifted off them.

The woman was pushed face down into the ground and Gary told the Press how he gently lifted her face out of the mud and placed her on her side while calling for medical help.

“She was in a bad way but was still conscious and breathing and a doctor quickly appeared on the scene and took over in resuscitating her.

“We must have been there around 30 minutes waiting for an ambulance which we found out was about three miles down the road. It was pandemonium and nobody seemed to know what was happening.

‘‘When the doctor took over and we knew she was in safe hands, me and my friends left. We later found out she hadn’t made it, but I would definitely say her actions in pushing the boy out the way and stepping in front of him saved his life.

‘‘We have heard he is going to be okay.

“It all happened so quickly there was just no way anyone would have had the chance to get out the way. We did what we could and the spectators were all amazing.”

Gary explained that he and his friends had arranged the trip to help him get over the death of his brother, and they had discussed taking their older children with them.

“We decided it was a bit too risky to take them along, and I am glad we made that choice,” he said.

It was reported that the rally, which is held in five stages around forest tracks in the Inverness area each year, attracted much bigger crowds than usual this year.

The later stages were cancelled following the tragedy.