Man killed in minibus crash named by police

A man who died after a minibus overturned, leaving 23 people injured, has been named by police.

Ross Jones Barker, 59, was a passenger on the private minibus carrying a group from Newtongrange to Kelso where it is thought they were heading to the races.

Police said that six men remain in hospital with serious injuries, but all are considered stable.

The crash happened on the A6089, between Carfraemill and Gordon in the Scottish Borders, at around 10.50am on Saturday.

Scottish minibus crash
Scottish minibus crash

Prayers for those involved will be said at Newtongrange Church Hall on Sunday evening.

The Rev Malcolm Muir said: "There is a solemnity across the village at the moment. Yesterday a lot of people were in shock.

"Tonight is about giving folk some space to share and come together and to talk about what has happened.

"Newtongrange is a tight-knit community though it is also very inclusive of people who have moved to the area, and it has a very strong sense of identity."

A message on the church Facebook page said: "We send our love and prayers to the family of the man who has lost his life and to those injured for a speedy recovery."

Many of those on the bus are believed to be regulars at The Dean Tavern in Newtongrange.

In a post on Facebook on Saturday, pub staff said: "The management and staff would like to pass on our condolences to those affected by the horrific accident on the way to Kelso today.

"As we wait for more news to come through, our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of all those affected."

More than 80 people have left condolence messages on the post.

Mr Ross, from Port Seton, East Lothian, was pronounced dead at the scene.

The private minibus was carrying 23 adult passengers plus the driver, with the men on board aged between 24 and 75.

Eight of them were taken to the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary, 14 were taken to Borders General Hospital, and one was airlifted to Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow.

Police said the crash was declared a major incident, with the Scottish Ambulance Service, Scottish Fire & Rescue Service, NHS Scotland and Scottish Borders Council involved.

Chief Inspector Steven Duncan of the Lothians & Scottish Borders Police Division said: "This has been an outing among friends and associates which has turned into tragedy.

"Our sympathies are with Ross' family, who have respectfully requested privacy during this terrible ordeal as they try to come to terms with their loss. Our thoughts also remain with all those injured and their families.

"I want to take this opportunity to thank our colleagues in the Scottish Ambulance Service and Scottish Fire & Rescue Service, who provided vital help in responding to this incident.

"We're also very grateful to the NHS, Scottish Borders Council and the public for their support of officers and all those affected."

The A6089 reopened at around 9pm with the crashed bus removed from the scene.

Local MSP Neil Findlay tweeted: "Horrendous news about the Midlothian men whose minibus crashed on the way to the races at Kelso – my thoughts and prayers are with them and their families."

A statement regarding yesterday's accident involving racegoers heading for Kelso. pic.twitter.com/ml5aTeyLs0

— Kelso Racecourse (@KelsoRacecourse) December 30, 2018

Staff at Kelso Racecourse tweeted a message of support.

They said: "Our sadness deepens as more facts emerge regarding the fatal vehicle accident, which involved racegoers on their way to Kelso yesterday.

"The accident will impact on a wide community which extends to many of those who regularly attend Kelso races.

"Our thoughts are with the family and friends of those involved and we wish those involved a speedy recovery."