What actually happened in the Brockholes Brow crash?

Rachel Murphy, left, and Shelby Maher died in the crashRachel Murphy, left, and Shelby Maher died in the crash
Rachel Murphy, left, and Shelby Maher died in the crash
As killer driver Mohmed Patel begins his jail term, we look back at exactly what happened.

It was a night that would change several lives forever, and bring to a terrible end the tragically short lives of Shelby Maher and Rachel Murphy.

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Killer driver jailed as families tell of their devastation

At around 6pm on Wednesday, April 20, 2016 five friends agree to spend the evening by the river bank, listening to music and talking.

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Mohmed Patel has been jailedMohmed Patel has been jailed
Mohmed Patel has been jailed

Rachel Murphy, 23, Shelby Maher, 17, her boyfriend Tom Kearns, 15-year-old Megan Blakey and teenager Liam Finlayson set out to cross the A59 Brockholes Brow in Preston to get down to the river bank.

The two boys crossed first, with the three girls behind them. When the boys reached the other side they looked back and the girls waved at them.

A car stopped on the Preston-bound inside lane to let the girls cross at 6.40pm, but as they did a BMW overtook in the second lane and collided with all three, clipping Megan on the leg, but hitting Shelby and Rachel head on.

Forty two seconds before the crash, driver Mohmed Salman Patel, 26, of Carham Road, Blackburn, had sent a text to his girlfriend, asking her where he would meet her.

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Rachel and Shelby were thrown "some considerable distance" by the force of the crash. Rachel died at the scene and Shelby some time later in hospital when she went into cardiac arrest.

Megan was able to hobble to the sided of the road where she was treated by paramedics. She spent a week in hospital being treated.

Almost a year after the crash, on May 17, 2017, Patel made his first appearance at Preston Magistrates Court to answer two charges of causing death by dangerous driving. He entered no plea and the case was adjourned to Preston Crown Court.

His trial began in January 2018, but after almost two weeks of hearing evidence, the jury was unable to reach a verdict.

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The judge then ordered a retrial, which ended in a guilty verdict last week. He was sentenced yesterday when Judge Robert Altham, sitting at Preston Crown Court, jailed him for 6 years on each of the two charges, and banned him from driving for nine years.