Cumbria Crack

Motorist on trial accused of causing pal’s death during “ludicrously high speed joust”

Steven Parker

A MOTORIST has gone on trial accused of causing his friend’s death by dangerous driving in a “catastrophic” crash which, a prosecutor has alleged, followed a “ludicrously high speed joust” between them at up to 118mph.

Steven Parker, who was aged 23 and from Wigton, died after losing control of his BMW 335D X Drive while following closely behind a Vauxhall Corsa on the town’s A596 bypass at around 4-50pm on February 3, 2018. Dash-cam footage from an oncoming vehicle captured the BMW spinning sideways. It struck the modified Corsa a “glancing blow” before leaving the road and “demolishing” two trees.

Carlisle Crown Court heard today (MON) how Mr Parker and Corsa driver Liam John Dixon, 27, were friends with a “shared interest in fast and powerful cars”.

Dixon, of Throstle Avenue, Wigton – reportedly unhurt in the collision – denies one charge alleging he caused the death of Mr Parker by dangerous driving.

Opening the case to jurors, prosecutor Stuart Neale said: “The Crown say that this defendant is guilty of causing the death of Steven Parker by dangerous driving because, on February 3, 2018, the two of them engaged in a duel, a chase, or a burnout, the Crown say, at between 100 and 118mph.

“Possibly more than 118mph but certainly at a minimum of 100mph on the 50mph guarded stretch of the A596 Wigton bypass, driving so closely to each other that when this defendant touched his brakes, and the brake lights illuminated, Steven Parker lost control.

“His car pirouetted in a catastrophic crash that killed Steven Parker and left one of his passengers, Lee Jefferson, with a brain injury, a fractured eye socket and a fractured jaw.”

Mr Neale alleged: “The Crown say that to drive at over 100mph as close as these two (drivers) were is, by itself, dangerous and, without any more, the fact that driving in that manner caused the death of Steven Parker makes the defendant guilty.

“However, the Crown go further and say that what was happening here was more, because what was going on here was a ludicrously high speed joust, chase, burnout from which it would be obvious to any careful, competent and prudent driver that death was a likely consequence.”

Describing the fatal incident, Dixon had initially told police: “I honestly don’t know exactly what happened as it was a blur.” Mr Neale told jurors that in subsequent interviews under caution, “the defendant tried to “put the blame” for the collision on Mr Parker.

The trial, which is expected to last several days, continues.

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