TRIAL LATEST: Driver 'was holding mobile phone'

A driver who witnessed a horror smash which killed two young women near Preston insisted in court today that the man at the wheel of the BMW which ploughed into them had a mobile phone in his hand seconds before impact.

Tuesday, 9th January 2018, 12:45 pm
Updated Tuesday, 9th January 2018, 2:36 pm
Mohammed Salman Patel, 27, of Carham Road, Blackburn is on trial over the deaths of two young women

David Smith told a jury he was “adamant” Mohammed Salman Patel was holding a phone and not an e-cigarette as he overtook him seconds before the collision on Brockholes Brow in April 2016.In cross examination by Paul Hynes QC for the defence, Mr Smith flatly denied he could have mistaken a vape device for a mobile phone.“I am adamant (it was a phone) and I can stand and say I know what I saw,” he said.“I know the difference between a mobile and a vape machine.”Patel, 27, of Carham Road, Blackburn, has pleaded not guilty to causing the deaths of Rachel Murphy, 23, and Shelby Maher, 17, by dangerous driving. He has admitted a lesser charge of causing death by careless driving in both cases.

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The i newsletter cut through the noise court heard the women were with three other young people crossing Brockholes Brow when they were struck by Patel’s car. A 15-year-old was injured, but two boys with them escaped unhurt.The prosecution allege Patel had been texting his girlfriend seconds before the collision and was more interested in his phone than concentrating on his driving.The case continues.