Driver said he 'never looked at speedo' before fatal crash which killed friend

A speeding motorist accused of causing the death of a fellow driver and friend told police he “never looked at the speedo” of his vehicle before a catastrophic fatal crash near Wigton.

Liam John Dixon, 27, is on trial at Carlisle Crown Crown Court. Dixon denies causing the death of 23-year-old pal Steven Parker by dangerous driving on February 3, 2018.

The allegation arises out of a tragedy which occurred as Mr Parker followed close behind Dixon’s modified silver Vauxhall Corsa while driving his own high-powered white BMW 335D X Drive on a 50mph stretch of the A596 Wigton bypass just before 5pm. Parker suffered fatal injuries after losing control of his BMW, which spun sideways, clipped the Corsa, left the road and demolished two trees at the road side.

One eyewitness reported seeing two cars “absolutely flying” just before the crash.

Collision experts instructed by the prosecution and defence in Dixon’s trial agree “both vehicles were travelling at least 100mph” moments beforehand, and that there wouldn’t have been enough space for Mr Parker to react to any emergency because of his close proximity to the Corsa.

An experienced police crash investigator has told the court his conclusion was that their speed was “most likely around 118mph as probably a minimum”.

Dixon - said to have a “shared interest in fast and powerful cars” with Mr Parker - initially told police the pair were “lapping around Wigton earlier in the day”.

“I had seen Steven driving his BMW towards me,” Dixon, of Throstle Avenue, Wigton, said of the lead-up to the tragedy. “He must have turned around as he was following me as I approached the bypass; he had been following me in the short time prior driving around Wigton.

“Being honest I drove quite quickly down the bypass. I would be doing quite a bit more than the speed limit. I would guess but I never looked at the speedo.”

He described braking “slightly” on a slight left hand bend after the Spittal Farm junction. “I would guess I would have braked down to around 60mph. I honestly don’t know exactly what happened as it was a blur. I believe a car was coming towards me,” he said.

Dixon was aware Mr Parker, travelling behind, had “lost control” of the BMW, which struck his Corsa a “glancing blow”. “I didn’t lose control I just slowed to a stop. The BMW span off hitting the trees at speed,” he said.

In a later police interview read to jurors today, Dixon admitted speeding but denied he and Mr Parker were “racing or driving competitively against one another” immediately before the crash. “He pulled out to overtake me,” he said of Mr Parker. “I noticed he had lost control when he was facing us.”

The trial continues.

Our reporter Lewis Warner has been covering the trial so far.