Four injured in rally crash

Four men were injured as a rally car came off a Deeside road during the Granite City Rally last weekend.

As spectators rushed to aid the Nissan Micra driven by Rachel Medich after it veered into a ditch, the Peugeot of Simon Frazer Hay went off at exactly the same spot minutes later hitting a number of them.

Immediately the stage was closed and emergency services and rescue crews were called to Durris Woods, near Banchory, at about 11.20am on Saturday.

Ms Medich, who is a specialist theatre nurse at Aberdeen Maternity Hospital, gave first aid to the injured spectators while they waited.

The rally’s organiser, Aberdeen and District Motor Club, immediately cancelled the stage and rerouted the drivers to the next stage.

All four injured spectators — one a competitor in the Scottish Rally Championship, and three members of one of Scotland’s leading motorsport clubs — were treated at the scene before being taken to hospital.

The most seriously injured, Joe Bolger, a member of the Lanark-based Coltness Car Club, was airlifted to Aberdeen Royal Infirmary with serious pelvic and leg injuries. Grampian Police described Mr Bolger’s condition as “critical but stable” after he underwent surgery on Sunday.

Two other members of the car club were also taken to hospital. David Tait sustained two broken legs, and Jonny Smith broke one.

Peterculter man Kenny Clubb escaped the accident with minor injuries despite being thrown up in the air over the bonnet of the car.

Ian Shiells, clerk of the course, said: “Obviously this is a sad incident, and our thoughts are with the injured spectators.

“Safety is always paramount in Scottish rallying, and we thank the rescue crews and medical staff for their swift response to the incident. Naturally our thoughts are with the injured spectators.”

The Granite City Rally is the biggest motorsport event in the North-east. The course is 44 miles and is the third round in the Scottish Rally Championships.