A TOTAL of 10 people were killed on Borders roads last year, four more than in 2011, police have revealed.
The 2012 figure includes Derek and Avril Peoples, who died in an accident on the A697 near Carfraemill on December 23, leaving their hometown of Kelso in shock.
The fatalities were followed less than 24 hours later by another accident on the A68 just outside the Borders, which saw three Thai Buddhist monks killed.
Police are still appealing for information on both crashes.
Mr and Mrs Peoples were travelling home to Kelso when their silver Kia was involved in a head-on smash with a red Hyundai travelling north, one mile south of the A68 junction.
Mrs Peoples, 51, died of her injuries at the scene, while her 53-year-old husband was taken to Edinburgh Royal Infirmary for treatment, but also passed away.
Two people who were in the Hyundai car suffered minor injuries and were also taken to the ERI.
Mr Peoples was a plasterer, while his wife was a daycare assistant to elderly people. The couple had two children. Kelso councillor Tom Weatherston said: “They were a well respected family and well known in the town.
“Everyone is devastated. Everyone knew Derek and he was a keen fisherman with the Kelso Angling Association.”
Kenny Dumma of Kelso AA told us: “Derek was a member of our committee and was a talented fisherman, particularly trout and salmon fishing.
“He was always mucking in when there was work to be done.
“Something like this is terrible at any time of year, but especially just before Christmas. It is very sad for the club and he will certainly be missed.”
Fellow Kelso member Alec Nicol added: “This is a great personal tragedy for the family and everyone that knew them.”
Tributes have also been paid to the three monks killed on Christmas Eve at Fala Tunnel near Pathhead, just two miles from the Borders boundary after their car overturned and landed on its roof.
Among them was 43-year-old Phramaha Pranom Thongphaiboon, the second most senior monk in Scotland, who has been described as dedicated. Phramaha Chai Boonma, 36, and 35-year-old Phramaha Kriangkrai Khamsamrong, also died when the Nissan Note they were travelling in collided with a Skoda Octavia car which was travelling south.
All three were pronounced dead at the scene, while a 47-year-old man and the 61-year-old female driver of the car were taken to hospital with various injuries.
The 74-year-old man who was driving the Skoda car was also taken to hospital with minor injuries before being released.
Traffic was forced to use the A7 as road policing officers closed the A68 for around six hours while they carried out an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the collision.
Anyone with information on either incident is asked to contact police on 0131 311 3131.
Six people were killed in 2011 on Borders roads, while nine lost their lives in 2010.