Tears as driver denies causing deaths of Rachel and Shelby on Brockholes Brow by dangerous driving

Rachel and Shelby were among a group of five friends who were crossing the road to cool down by the river when the tragedy occurred
Rachel and Shelby were among a group of five friends who were crossing the road to cool down by the river when the tragedy occurred
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A man has denied causing the deaths of two Preston women by dangerous driving after they were knocked down and killed as they crossed the A59 at Brockholes Brow.

Rachel Marie Murphy, 23, and Shelby Lauren Maher, 17, died after being hit by the BMW 320 SE, driven by Muhammed Salma Patel on April 20 last year, as they went to enjoy the evening sun by the River Ribble.

As Patel, dressed in a dark blue suit, answered the charges at Preston Crown Court, members of Rachel and Shelby’s families wept from the packed public gallery.

Patel, of St Michael’s Road, Blackburn, spoke only to confirm his identity and enter his pleas.

Rachel and Shelby were among a group of five friends who were crossing the road to cool down by the river when the tragedy occurred at 6.40pm.

Rachel died at the scene just five minutes from her home, and Shelby was taken to hospital, where she was later pronounced dead.

Patel denies he was driving dangerously at the time of the collision and will stand trial on January 8 2018.

Judge Robert Altham granted him bail but ordered Patel to attend the trial and any pre-trial hearings at Preston Crown Court.

Turning to the family friends sitting in the public gallery, he said: “I am very grateful for the quiet way in which this case has been dealt with.”