Witness feared Mary Byrne crash was going to happen, court hears

A SPEEDING car was being driven so erratically, seconds before a fatal crash, a witness feared what was going to happen, a court heard today.

Elaine Barnes was driving in Mandale Road, Horton Bank Top, Bradford, when a black car suddenly screeched out from behind a parked van and passed her travelling very fast.

Miss Barnes told a jury at Bradford Crown Court: "The way that it pulled out into the middle of the road was a bit erratic. Then all I could hear was screeching of tyres and the engine was revving. You just knew something was going to happen the way he was driving."

She said that seconds later the black car braked but went straight into a taxi which was turning in the road.

The court has heard that 51-year-old grandmother Mary Byrne died after she was thrown from the taxi and hit or run over by it as it was spun round in the road, in April last year.

Prosecutor Tim Capstick claims Mrs Byrne died because a black BMW and a blue Ford Focus were racing. The taxi, which was turning into Mrs Byrne's drive in Mandale Road, was struck by the BMW. The Focus, being driven by Thomas Healey, turned round and left the scene.

Healey, 21, of Brow Lane, Clayton, Bradford, has pleaded not guilty to causing death by dangerous driving. The BMW driver, Joseph Robinson, has admitted the offence.

Miss Barnes said she saw a blue car driving slowly and cautiously away from the accident, which she thought was odd.

Her passenger, Stuart Hall, said he saw the BMW and the Focus coming round the corner at speed. They passed and then he heard an explosion, like a bomb going off.

Mr Hall said he had seen the same cars a few minutes earlier, as he was waiting to exit the car park of Tesco in Halifax Road. He said the BMW was being revved and then pulled out of the car park at speed. It pulled into the middle of the road to overtake vehicles and followed the Focus. Both vehicles then accelerated.

Simon Batty, who was walking his dog near to Tesco, said he saw the Focus accelerating towards Odsal Top with the BMW chasing it. He said the Focus was going fast and the BMW was trying to catch up.

He said: "I saw someone in the back of the Focus goading the BMW, egging them on.

"The two vehicles had their foot down, accelerating as fast as they could."

The trial continues.

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