Death Porsches `raced at 100mph'

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The Independent Online
AN ELDERLY motorist was killed when two Porsche drivers, racing each other along a country road at up to 100mph, crashed head-on into his car, a court was told yesterday.

Two company executives, Steven Shaddick, 36, and Raymond Boyd, 37, were returning to their hotel from a Porsche-owners' club rally at Highclere Castle, near Newbury, Berkshire, when the accident happened last July.

Witnesses told the jury at Reading Crown Court how the pair, in Porsche 911 models with personalised number plates, had straddled the centre of the B4494 Newbury-to-Wantage road, and had passed traffic in what had appeared to be a high-speed race.

At times, the cars were almost bumper to bumper at speeds of about 100mph, said Neil Moore, for the prosecution. The race ended fatally at asharp bend when Mr Shaddick's car crashed into the oncoming Volkswagen Golf of an 82-year-old cartoonist, Henry Lucy, and his wife of three months, Claude Jean-Marie, 53, who were travelling to their grandson's 21st birthday party.

The following Porsche also struck the Golf. Mr Lucy died from multiple injuries. His wife escaped with cuts and bruises.

Mr Shaddick, of Coney Park, Stirling, and Mr Boyd, of Dumbarton Road, Stirling, deny a joint charge of causing death by dangerous driving. They also deny separate charges of driving their cars dangerously.

Mr Moore told the court: "These two men were driving their respective cars competitively, racing if you like, along the road before this accident took place."

The court heard how the accident happened on a sharp left-hand bend on the country road, moments after the Porsches had been noticed travelling "nose to tail" at high speed. Mr Moore said: "Mr Shaddick was driving far too quickly for the conditions. He was partly on the wrong side of the road as he was approaching, and, as he went round the bend, he had to apply excessive left-hand steering to correct his position, which caused him to lose control of his vehicle."

After the accident, both Mr Shaddick and Mr Boyd had told people who had stopped to help that the accident had been caused by them trying to avoid a cyclist.

One witness, Keith Turner, 53, described how he had seen the two Porsches flashing past him as he drove to collect his daughter from Newbury railway station.

He said: "I believe there was no more than 12ft between the cars. They were extremely close, slipstreaming.

"Their position was such that my instinctive reaction was to do a quick veer to the left. They were straddling the white lines, nose to tail.

"It was racetrack speed in my estimation and I would have put it at around 100mph fairly easily."

The trial continues.