A MOTORIST has insisted he did not take part in a daring 100mph-plus “face-off” with a close friend and fellow driver who lost control of his car and died in a catastrophic crash on the Wigton bypass.
Steven Parker, aged 23 and from the town, lost his life in a tragedy, on February 3, 2018, which occurred as he was travelling close behind pal Liam John Dixon’s modified Vauxhall Corsa on a damp, straight stretch of the A596.
Dixon is on trial at Carlisle Crown Court. He admits dangerous driving having been travelling at least 100mph, but denies causing the death of Mr Parker by doing so.
Dixon accepts he went on to the bypass just before 5pm on February 3 to exceed the speed limit and maintains it was the first time he had driven his Corsa in such a way since buying it weeks earlier. He stated that he was driving separately from “close friend” Mr Parker, whom he noted behind him on the A596.
After slowing for another motorist to turn into Spittal Farm, Dixon admitted: “I put my foot down.” He added: “I wasn’t showing off.” He didn’t look at his speedometer, he told jurors, who have heard a police investigator’s conclusion that the BMW and Corsa were travelling “most likely around 118mph as probably a minimum”.
One eyewitness told the jury she was frightened at seeing two vehicles “absolutely flying” before the crash and “half a car length” apart.
Under cross-examination this morning (THURS), Dixon insisted he didn’t brake while Mr Parker was behind him, and denied the pair were racing.
“Wasn’t this a face-off between the two of you?” Mr Neale asked.
“No. Not at all,” replied Dixon, who denied the prosecutor’s suggestion he had “thrown down the gauntlet” to his friend.
Mr Neale asked: “This was all about who had the fastest car, wasn’t it?”
“No. It wasn’t,” Dixon responded. “It wasn’t a challenge,” he’d earlier said. “I’m not a competitive person.”
The trial continues.