Driver was “showing off” new car before A35 crash which killed pick-up truck driver

A DRIVER involved in a fatal crash was “showing off his new car” after spending a night at the pub, a jury heard. Steve Spear, 64, died of his injuries after the Mitsubishi pick-up truck he was driving was hit by a silver Mercedes convertible driven by Gary Craven on the A35 Sea Road South in Bridport. The crash, near to the Hollow Way junction, happened shortly before 11.15pm on November 13, 2017.

Craven, aged 32, of Crock Lane in Bridport, denies causing death by dangerous driving. He also denies a further three counts of causing serious injury to his three passengers in the crash in a trial at Bournemouth Crown Court. Opening the case yesterday, prosecutor Jane Rowley told jurors: “This is a sad and tragic case.

As a result of Mr Craven’s driving, a man died. “Witnesses in Bridport town centre and the occupants of the vehicle will describe the defendant as showboating, showing off and travelling in excess of 70 or 80mph. “What does Mr Craven do after the crash?

He flees from the scene, leaving Mr Spear dying in his car and his three friends seriously injured.” Police found Craven at his home later that night, and he was “shouting and swearing” at officers to get out of his house before he was arrested, the court was told. Craven’s three passengers – friends James Mayo and Thomas George, as well as Peter Lawrence, who he had met on the night of the crash – gave evidence in court yesterday.

Mr Lawrence was airlifted to Southampton General Hospital with broken ribs and a punctured lung following the crash. He told jurors that Craven had offered the group a lift home when they left The Greyhound pub in East Street at 11pm after spending several hours there. He said: “The car was going quite fast through the town centre; it was too fast the whole journey.

At first, I was quite nervy…later on the journey it felt life threatening, I had a feeling of terror. It wasn’t safe. I think he was showing off his new car to his friends.

“I have two children, and I just believe that [Craven] had a severe lack of care for his passengers.” Mr Mayo, however, told the jury that he felt safe in Craven’s Mercedes and that there was “no way” he could have avoided the crash with Mr Spear’s car as it pulled out of a junction. “I just had enough time to curl myself up.

Gary tried to swerve to avoid it.

My next memory is being in the car with broken glass and smoke coming from the dashboard.”

The trial, which is expected to last for up to five days, continues.

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