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Cars travelling “most likely around 118mph” before fatal crash tragedy, jury hears

Steven Parker

TWO vehicles involved in a catastrophic north Cumbria crash which claimed the life of one driver were travelling “at least 100mph” moments before the tragedy and, a police expert has concluded, “most likely around 118mph as probably a minimum”.

Wigton man Steven Parker, 23, died after losing control of his powerful BMW 335D X Drive car while travelling close behind pal Liam John Dixon’s modified Vauxhall Corsa westbound on the town bypass, between the A596’s Spittal Farm and Kirkbride junctions, at around 4-50pm on February 3, 2018.

Carlisle Crown Court has heard how the BMW spun sideways, clipped the Corsa, left the road and demolished two trees. One of Mr Parker’s passengers suffered a brain injury and facial fractures.

Dixon, 27, of Throstle Avenue, Wigton, is on trial, and denies one charge of causing death by dangerous driving.

Experienced Cumbria police specialist collision investigator Steven Wakefield told a jury this afternoon (TUES) how detailed calculations showed the two cars were travelling “100mph without fear of conflict”.

Indeed he and an expert instructed by Dixon’s defence team agreed the vehicles were travelling “at least 100mph”.

But PC Wakefield told the court his conclusion was that the speed was “most likely around 118mph as probably a minimum”.

It was further agreed by the prosecution and defence experts that Dixon and Parker were travelling closely together. As a result it was further agreed that, due to their proximity, there wouldn’t have been enough space for Mr Parker to react to any emergency that occurred.

There was no evidence, they agreed, to suggest that Dixon had braked heavily in the moment when Mr Parker’s vehicle was behind his.

Jurors have earlier heard how the two drivers “shared an interest in fast and powerful cars”. The prosecution alleges that at the time of the tragedy, they were engaged in a “ludicrously high speed joust, chase, burnout”.

The trial continues.

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