A WOMAN who was struck by a hammer at a Highland games last year says she remains so traumatised she will never attend the event again.
Marion MacKenzie says that she still suffers flashbacks of the traumatic event on Skye which left her hospitalised.
The 47-year-old was struck by a 28lb hammer while assisting a dance competition.
As organisers prepare for this year’s games, Mrs MacKenzie fears that unless serious changes are made, someone could be killed.
Mrs MacKenzie is urging organisers to relocate the events which involve heavy equipment such as hammers and cabers further away from the main fields were the crowds gather.
It was originally feared by doctors that Mrs MacKenzie had suffered damage to her spleen, but no serious injuries were found and she only suffered bruised ribs.
She believes that if she had not been bending down to pick up her bag, she may have been hit on the head by the flying object and killed.
Later in the same day as Mrs MacKenzie’s accident, a caber hit the same tent, but luckily no one was inside.
Mrs MacKenzie has scarring from the accident and is still on medication.
She said: “I’ll not be at the games this year and I’ll probably never go back. It’s too frightening. I’m still getting flashbacks.
“I am from this island and I have nothing against the games but I’m speaking out because I do not want to have a death on my conscience.
“It’s far too small an area they’re doing it on. They should move it. I don’t know how many safety measures they can realistically use because the arena is just too small.
“As far as I can see the decision not to move it is purely down to tradition. Surely safety must be a priority now?
“This is a recurring problem for them. What is it they’re waiting to happen?”
Honorary Secretary of the games Allan Stewart, said: “We have considered all the factors involved and taken all the risks into account that we can.
“We run a risk assessment and we are happy. I am not aware of any changes being made.
“It is the 136th year of the Skye Games and we hope to attract a big crowd – it’s the island’s biggest day of the year.”
A spokeswoman for the Highland Council said environmental officers had investigated the incident and made recommendations to the Highland Games Association.
Mrs MacKenzie has confirmed that a civil case was still in progress and was being dealt with by insurance companies.