A young driver has been cleared of dangerous driving after his best friend and stepfather were both killed in a road accident involving his car.
Joshua Ford, 21, had been driving on a country road in South Wales when he crashed into his friend Jordan Thomas’ car, which had lost control on a bend and crashed into a tree, Cardiff Crown Court heard.
Both 19-year-old Mr Thomas and Mr Ford’s stepfather Lee Fox, 35, were thrown from the vehicle and killed in the fatal collision.
Prosecution argued during Mr Ford’s six-day trial that the teenager had met with Mr Fox’s friend at a restaurant in Abergavenny, South Wales and agreed to a race on the winding country roads.
Prosecutor Christopher Rees said in his opening: ”The road is a winding country road which perhaps suited it to rally-style driving.
”The prosecution say that this road was chosen to act as a race track.”
Mr Ford denied that there was any plan to meet up and race his Citroen C2 ”rally special” against his best friend’s high-performance Toyota Celica.
Defending Mr Ford, David Elias, argued that Mr Thomas was driving too fast and would have crashed regardless of whether he was there or not.
After five hours of deliberation, a jury acquitted Mr Ford of two counts of dangerous driving.
A state of shock
Mr Ford says he was not driving any faster than 65mph and had attempted to avoid colliding with the car by turning to the left.
He said: “I went around that corner and then it comes up to a right-hand incline and as I was coming down I noticed the Celica.”
Mr Ford said he went into a “state of shock” when he saw a seemingly empty car coming across into the left-hand lane
The court heard how after searching for Mr Thomas and Mr Fox, he found his friend lying in the road and “out of panic” called his mother to say that Jordan was dead.
Mr Fox was thrown 35 metres from the car and was found in bushes on an embankment.
Source: South Wales Argus