Monday, December 31, 2018

A minibus overturned on the A6089 road between Gordon and Carfraemill in the Scottish Borders on Saturday night. The rural accident killed one man and injured 23 more.

The bus was reportedly carrying an all-male group from Newtongrange to Kelso. Following the accident, local authorities declared a major incident, with Police Scotland, the Scottish Ambulance Service, the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, NHS Scotland, and Scottish Borders Council all collaborating on the response.

Per the reports, an air ambulance ferried one survivor to Glasgow’s Queen Elizabeth University Hospital; fourteen casualties were taken to Borders General Hospital in Melrose; and eight were taken to Edinburgh Royal Infirmary. The minibus held 23 passengers plus a driver. Authorities closed the road after the crash at around 10:50am, reopening it at 9:00pm.

59-year-old East Lothian man Ross Jones Barker has been identified as the man killed at the accident location. Barker and some other passengers were traveling to Kelso to attend the Kelso Races, a local horse race. Images of the bus showed it upended in a field perpendicular to the road, with extensive crush damage to the roof. BBC reported the minibus left tyre marks on the road.

Traffic Scotland took to Twitter on the day of the accident to warn of strong wind gusts affecting driving in the area. The road has a poor safety reputation among locals, who know it for its multiple blind summits. Police Scotland’s Road Policing Unit carried out on-site investigations and was working to establish the circumstances. The vehicle has since been righted and recovered.

Reverend Malcolm Muir of Newtongrange described “a solemnity across the village at the moment” in the “tight-knit community” which “has a very strong sense of identity.”