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WRC Driver Kris Meeke Says Jim Clark Rally Deaths A 'Wake Up Call' For Sport

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World Rally Championship driver Kris Meeke has condemned fans who put competitors in "impossible situations" following the deaths of spectators last weekend.

Three people were killed and six injured when cars collided with spectators in two different crashes during the Jim Clark Rally in the Scottish Borders on Saturday. Police said the most serious crash took place at about 4pm when a rally car came off the road near Kelso, hitting spectators.

Those killed were named as Iain Provan, 64, and Elizabeth Allen, 63, from Barrhead, and John Leonard Stern, 71, from Bearsden.

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It has been reported the three people killed were not in a spectator area

All three were pronounced dead at the scene and a fourth is in a critical condition at Edinburgh Royal Infirmary. Two hours earlier, a rally car hit five people. Four were treated at the scene and another is in a serious condition in hospital.

Police Scotland said the the rally was cancelled after the fatal crash. The identities of those in the competitor cars have not been revealed.

About 250 competitors had been taking part with thousands of spectators watching the action on a rally regarded as one of the sport's major events in the country. The Jim Clark rally has been running for more than 40 years and is the only closed road even in the UK.

Meeke, who is now a full works driver with Citroen on the WRC, is familiar with the rally having competed there in 2002 and 2003. He said that people needed to be better educated about the dangers in the sport.

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Kris Meeke said the incident in the rally was 'horrific'

Speaking to Motorsport News ahead of this weekend's Rally Italy, Meeke said: "My heart goes out to the crew. This is a horrific situation...I feel sorry for them and their families and the families of the deceased. We have to educate people in what can happen when a car goes out of control - they can go anywhere."

The Northern Irishman added the incident should serve to act as a "wake up call" for all of rallying, from the WRC down to club level, because drivers were being put in "impossible situations".

"On numerous occasions I've seen crazy guys trying to take these selfies with the cars in the background with their phones - it's just insane."

Meanwhile, the sport's governing body in the UK, the Motor Sports Association, has welcomed the announcement by the Scottish Justice Secretary, Kenny MacAskill MSP, that the Scottish government will commission a review of motor sport safety in the country.

"The MSA’s over-riding concern as the governing body of UK motor sport has always been the safety of participants, whether competitors, organisers or spectators," it said in a statement.

"At this time, we can only express once again our heartfelt sorrow at the loss of these three people and send the thoughts and prayers of the motor sport community, to which they belonged, to the families and friends of those affected by this tragic accident."

Because of the ongoing police investigation into the deaths neither the MSA or the British Rally Championship, of which the Jim Clark Rally is part of, will comment further on the incident.