Spectator killed at rally event

A spectator has been killed at an Irish rally event today, race organisers have said.

A spectator has been killed at an Irish rally event today, race organisers have said.

The 18-year-old man and a rally car were in collision at Ballyarr in Milford during Special Stage 11 of the Donegal International Rally at around 3.30pm this afternoon.

The identity of the victim is not yet known. It is believed he was standing in the road when a car came over the crest of a hill at high speed. Initial indications are that there was no driver error involved.

The man, believed to be from the Strabane area of the North, was pronounced dead at the scene at Garrygort near Milford.

The body remains at the scene pending a technical examination, and the road is closed as a result.

Event spokesman Jaye Jordan said it appeared to be a tragic accident.

“Our sympathies go out to everyone involved,” he said. “Motorsport is a dangerous sport but when a spectator is killed it is particularly tragic.

“Our thoughts are also with the driver who will have this in the mind for the rest of his life.”

Racing at the Irish Rally Championship event was immediately suspended following the collision.

Mr Jordan said he would expect the tomorrow’s racing to be cancelled as a mark of respect.

A Ford Fiesta racing car is believed to have been involved.

Shortly after 6pm this evening, a statement was issued by the organisers, the Donegal Motor Club.

“Donegal Motor Club regret that following an incident on Stage 11 of the Donegal International Rally, at approx 2.45 pm today, a spectator attending the Rally was fatally injured,” the statement said.

“Superintendent Vincent O’Brien, of Letterkenny garda station has appealed for witnesses to come forward and contact gardaí at (074) 912222.

“At this time our thoughts are with the spectator’s family and friends and as a mark of respect the remainder of today’s event has been suspended.

“A further statement will be issued at 8pm.”

At the same event six years ago, two male spectators were killed when a car left the road and struck a crowd at Cloghan, near Ballybofey.

On that occasion the two victims were a photographer and a race marshal.

The motorsport event is the fifth round of the Global Group Irish Tarmac Rally Championship.

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