'Ground shook' in impact of high-speed fatal crash, witness tells Bradford Crown Court jury

Thomas Healey, 21, who is on trial at Bradford Crown Court accused of causing the death of Mary Byrne, 51, by dangerous driving

Thomas Healey, 21, who is on trial at Bradford Crown Court accused of causing the death of Mary Byrne, 51, by dangerous driving

First published in News
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Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Photograph of the Author by , T&A Reporter

A WITNESS told a jury that the ground shook when a grandmother died in an horrific accident allegedly caused by two young drivers racing each other.

Mary Byrne, 51, was killed outside her home in Mandale Road, Horton Bank Top, when she was thrown through the window of a minicab, and was then struck, or run over by the vehicle as it was spun round by the impact of the crash.

The trial at Bradford Crown Court has previously heard the cab had been turning right into Mrs Byrne's drive to drop her off when it was hit from behind by a speeding BMW 330i which had allegedly been racing a blue Ford Focus ST.

The driver of the Ford Focus, Thomas Healey, 21, of Brow Lane, Clayton, Bradford, had momentarily stopped after the accident but then drove away .

Healey has pleaded not guilty to causing death by dangerous driving.

Prosecutor Tim Capstick has previously told the jury the driver of the BMW, Joseph Robinson, 22, of Westminster Gardens, Clayton, had pleaded guilty to that charge.

The impact of the crash caused the cab, a Vauxhall Vectra, to spin round and crash into a garden wall of a property in Mandale Road. Mrs Byrne died later that afternoon.

In a written statement read to the court today, cab driver Basharat Hussain, who had picked Mrs Byrne up shortly before 5pm on Saturday, April 20 last year and suffered seven cracked ribs and injuries to his knee, shoulder and neck in the collision, said: "The car had gone through the back of our car.

"I thought she was still in the car when we were hit."

Pc Martin Ward, a collision investigator with West Yorkshire Police, told the jury: "The force of the impact had forced the Vauxhall Vectra to rotate clockwise. Mrs Byrne was ejected from the rear offside window.

"The taxi rotated no more than 360 degrees. At some point the car has come into contact with her."

Other witnesses spoke of hearing the speeding Ford Focus and BMW and the impact the crash caused.

Lisa Roberts was in her home in Mandale Road and was alerted when she heard the speeding vehicles. She said: "There was a massive, massive crash noise and the ground shook.

"I could see a BMW was sideways with the front end smashed in. It happened so quickly."

Christa McCalman said she had seen the BMW and Ford Focus speeding and travelling "bumper to bumper" on nearby Beacon Road only minutes before the crash.

She was waiting at the roundabout from Beacon Road, to turn into St Enoch's Road, while the Ford Focus and BMW came on to the roundabout and travelled up Beacon Road.

She said: "The BMW was coming round the roundabout at excessive speed. It looked like it was going to flip, it was not steady.

"The Ford Focus ST came round at the same speed, they were nearly bumper to bumper and it continued behind the BMW. "

The trial continues.

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