May 31, 2014, 9:25 PM EDT
Three spectators have been killed and multiple others have been injured in accidents during today’s stage of the Jim Clark Rally in Scotland, according to the UK’s Guardian newspaper.
Per the Guardian, the deadly crash took place near Coldstream in the Scottish Borders region. One of the cars reportedly lost control and swerved off the road. Three were pronounced dead at the scene, and another is in a critical condition at the Royal Infirmary in Edinburgh.
“It was just one car which lost control,” a witness, Tony Cowan, told the paper. “It went sideways one way and then to the other side of the road and plowed into four people.
“It was terrible, absolutely terrible. I ran to help but there was little I could do. The air ambulance arrived after about three-quarters of an hour. There were police cars and ambulances. It was chaos, just chaos.”
Additionally, local police are investigating an earlier incident in the rally that saw five spectators hit by a car. According to Autosport, four of the five were treated at that particular scene, while one was taken to a hospital and is in serious condition.
The event, which serves as the second round of the British Rally Championship, has been cancelled in the wake of the tragedy.
The Motor Sports Association, the United Kingdom’s governing body for auto racing, has released the following statement:
“The Motor Sports Association and everyone in the motor sport community is devastated by the terrible events this afternoon on the Jim Clark Rally. The families and friends of those who have lost their lives and of those who have been injured are in all our thoughts as they face such an awful situation.
“Police Scotland are now in control of all aspects of the investigations into the two accidents and both the Police and hospital authorities will issue further bulletins when they can. Everyone waits anxiously for some better news of those who have been injured.
“As with any serious incident, today’s accidents will also be subject to full enquiries by the MSA to ensure that any lessons are learned to assist in the constant drive to provide the highest possible safety standards at all motor sport events.”
Our thoughts are with the victims and their families at this time…