A man has been sentenced to 16 months in prison today (10 January) for dangerous driving following a court case at Carlisle Crown Court.
Liam John Dixon, 26, of Throstle Avenue, Wigton was cleared following a trial of causing death by dangerous driving following a crash on the A596 Wigton bypass on 3 February 2018 when a BMW driven by Steven Parker, 23, left the road and collided with trees.
Mr Parker died as a result of the collision.
The court heard how Parker had been driving his BMW at speed on the A595 in convoy with Liam Dixon, who was driving his Vauxhall Corsa.
The Corsa had been modified prior to Dixon purchasing it so that its 1.2 litre engine had been replaced with a much more powerful 2.0 litre Saab turbo engine. This resulted in Dixon’s insurance policy being void at the time of the collision, for which he was prosecuted in 2018.
The court heard how the two cars were driven on the bypass at around 4.40pm that day , with Dixon’s car in front and Mr Parker’s following.
Witnesses described there being very little distance between the two cars as they travelled Westbound along the bypass, despite being driven at high speed.
Forensic testing of video footage indicated an average speed of 118mph prior to the crash.
The court heard how Mr Parker then lost control of his car, resulting in the crash.
Dixon was interviewed following the death of Mr Parker.
He accepted he had been exceeding the speed limit but could not put a figure to the speed he was travelling.
He denied he had been racing Mr Parker or driving competitively.
During court proceedings Dixon pleaded guilty to dangerous driving and was found not guilty of causing the death of Steven Parker.
He was also disqualified from driving for two years and eight months.
Sergeant Claire Sampson said: “This was a tragic incident which resulted in the death a young man who had his whole life ahead of him. The collision will significantly affect a great deal of people for many years and provoke a stark reminder about other young people we have lost unnecessarily on our roads over many years.
“The speed limit for this stretch of road is 50mph and it is clear both drivers were travelling, in the very least, twice that. Deaths like Stevens’ are avoidable, if as drivers we could take that moment to consider the what if.
“I can only hope that this incident serves as a warning to other young drivers in our county. The risks of driving in a dangerous manner, however brief, even if you see it as simply having fun or think it’s a laugh, with no intention to hurt each other, can lead to disastrous consequences that will last a lifetime.
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank the families who have endured a distressing time at court and waited for some time to hear the full circumstances of how this collision came to occur. And also the investigation team who have worked diligently to bring the facts of the case in front of a jury.”