BMW driver jailed for killing young dad in Herts crash as he raced Aston Martin at up to 116mph

091222 Callum Dix
Callum Dix was the father of an 18-month old son and one of seven siblings Credit: Family tribute picture

A BMW driver who killed a young father as he raced his new high-powered car against an Aston Martin has been jailed for 32 months.

St Albans Crown Court heard Callum Dix, who was the youngest of seven siblings and had a toddler son, died on his way home from work.

Keaton Ancona-Francis, 31, admitted losing control of his black BMW 330D as he sped along the A414 in Hertfordshire at speeds of up to 116 mph in January last year.

The court heard Ancona-Francis was driving the new car from his then home in Ware to get a KFC takeaway from Harlow in the early evening of Monday 18 January, 2021.

Several witnesses reported seeing his BMW racing an Aston Martin at speed down the dual carriageway.

Ancona-Francis, now of Anderson Close in Winchmore Hill, lost control of the car near Eastwick, ending up on the wrong side of the road where he hit a barrier before striking the Vauxhall Corsa driven by Mr Dix.Mr Dix, 20, from Broxbourne, was trapped behind the wheel as the car burst into flames. In a statement at the time of his death his family said: “Callum had a face full of sunshine and a heart of gold.”Prosecutor Gary Venturi said Mr Dix, who had been due to qualify as a vehicle mechanic, was “on his way home from work and entirely blameless.”

The cause of death was a traumatic head injury with third degree burns.

Mr Venturi said: “It was ten past six in the evening. Mr Ancona-Francis went onto the A414 eastbound from the Amwell Roundabout to go for a take-away.“He was in lane one of the dual carriageway when an Aston Martin DB11 overtook him.“Mr Ancona-Francis pulled out from lane 1 setting off in pursuit of the Aston Martin."

Ancona-Francis, who suffered serious injuries during the crash when his BMW turned over, was interviewed in late February, but said he could not remember what had happened.

He was sentenced having pleaded guilty to causing death by dangerous driving at an earlier hearing on Monday 17 October.

Alongside the jail sentence, he was disqualified from driving for 52 months and must take an extended re-test.

Detective Constable Helen Giles, from the Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire Serious Collision Investigation Unit, said: “My thoughts remain with Callum’s family and friends at what continues to be an extremely difficult time for them.

“There is absolutely no excuse for speeding and I hope this serves as a warning to people of the devastating consequences it can have, for both the drivers themselves and for innocent road users like Callum who was simply making his way home from work.”Defending, Jonas Milner said Ancona-Francis was sorry and deeply remorseful for his behaviour.“He has written a letter to Mr Dix’s family and feels shame and guilt. He is religious and a family man with two children.“Mr Milner said: “It was not prolonged driving. It was a few seconds and a moment of reckless stupidity. He accepts his driving and speed was grossly dangerous.”