Sports car driver 'killed friend in crash,' court

A DRIVER who rammed his sports car into a tree in a “catastrophic” crash in which his friend was killed went on trial this week accused of causing death by dangerous driving.

Stephen Cape (25) was showing his newly-bought Honda Integer to 21-year-old passenger Mark Bingley on a quiet country road when the late-night smash happened—just minutes after the pals met up.

Cape, of Nursery Road, North Anston, has pleaded guilty to causing the death of Mr Bingley by careless driving, but denies the more serious charge.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Cape’s high-powered sports coupe snapped in two and he survived by being thrown into the road after his seatbelt was severed by a piece of sharp metal, the court heard.

But Mr Bingley, the front seat passenger, remained in the vehicle and died from serious head and internal injuries suffered in the accident on a sweeping bend on Lamb Lane, Firbeck, late on April 19 last year.

Cape, who remembers very little of the incident, was found dazed in the middle of the carriageway, Sheffield Crown Court was told.

Collision investigators concluded that the crash was due to Cape losing control as he negotiated a left-hand bend at speed.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Ms Elizabeth Martin, prosecuting, said that there were no eyewitnesses to the collision, but alleged that it was Cape’s dangerous driving which caused Mr Bingley’s death.

The court heard this week from several people who heard the crash.

Among those giving evidence was passer-by John Robinson, who was walking his dog in nearby Costhorpe on a “summer’s night” when he heard a car with a noisy exhaust travelling towards Langold village.

He heard the car as it went down Lamb Lane where it accelerated twice before he heard a thud.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“I don’t know how fast it was going because it was too far away, but I think he put his foot down after he got out of the village,” he said.

Kathleen Walker, of Doncaster Road, Worksop, who was driving a Peugeot 206 overtaken by Cape, said that she was travelling at about 40mph when she suddenly saw headlights in her mirror.

She said: “The car did not slow down. It went over onto the other side of the road and overtook me. It stayed on that side of the road.

“I can’t understand why it didn’t come back onto the correct side of the road.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Ms Walker said that the car carried on at the same fast speed without slowing down as it overtook.

“It was that fast I could not even see who was in the car,” she said. “It was like a rocket flying down the road.”

Elliott Gale, who lives in Lamb Lane, Firbeck, said that he was falling asleep at home when he heard the “very loud” sound of a powerful car before it crashed.

He said: “It seemed like it was travelling very fast.”

Michael Sheldon, who lives near the crash scene, said that he and his wife were watching a film on television when he heard a “whoop.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

He did not know whether it was the car going past or the crash. He said: “It scared us.”

He told the court it was a “hazardous” road, with ten crashes last year. He agreed with defence barrister Mr Michael O’Shea that it had a “patchwork quilt” surface and in parts was bumpy with lots of potholes.

The trial continues.

Related topics: