Fatal accident enquiry into the death of Steve Hislop
It has just been revealed to MCN that the Scottish Crown Office has agreed to open a fatal accident enquiry into the death of former British Superbike champion Steve Hislop, almost four years after his death in a helicopter accident.
In Scotland investigations into fatalities are undertaken by a Procurator Fiscal. Part of their remit includes the investigation of sudden and unexplained deaths, and it is in this role that the Procurator Fiscal can instruct fatal accident inquiries. The FAI itself is conducted in a court presided over by a Sheriff, and the Procurator Fiscal will present the facts to the court and lead witness evidence. Other interested parties, such as the family and any companies or individuals implicated in the events leading to the death, may also be represented in court.
Graham Fraser is District Procurator Fiscal for the Borders where Hizzy crashed, and has continued to investigate the accident since the Air Accident Investigations Branch completed their report into the crash in May 2005, which apportioned the blame to Hislop’s lack of experience and poor weather conditions. It dismissed suggestions that military jets operating in the area of the accident could have been involved. Two fast jets did pass the scene of the crash, but 20 minutes after the accident.
Fraser’s report to the Crown Office, which runs the Procurator Fiscal Service, has led to the decision to carry out a fatal accident inquiry. The content of his report it not known, but the decision to launch an inquiry suggests it has brought up new questions over the circumstances and causes of Hislop’s accident.
A spokesperson for the Crown Office said: “The Crown Counsel has instructed there should be a Fatal Accident Inquiry into Steve Hislop’s death. There is no date yet for the hearing, as it can be quite a lengthy process.
“The objective of a Fatal Accident Inquiry is to see whether lessons can be learned rather than to apportion blame. It has to be in the public interest.”
We'll update this story with more news as it becomes available.