Beds, Herts & Bucks

Crash death Luton rugby player Mark Davey was 'racing' against Porsche

Mark Davey Image copyright The Davey Family
Image caption Mr Davey's family said they hoped his death would not be in vain and would act as a warning to others

A rugby player killed on his way home from a match had been racing his car with another vehicle shortly before it crashed, an inquest has heard.

Mark Davey, 33, from Luton, died from severe head and brain injuries after his Audi hit a roundabout on the A6 at Wixams, Bedfordshire, last September.

The driver of the Porsche he was seen racing against, who failed to stop, has never been traced.

Ampthill Coroner's Court heard both cars reached speeds of up to 80 mph.

Image caption Mr Davey's car hit the roundabout at about 48 mph

Mr Davey, who was a company director at Indigo Residential estate agents in Luton, played as a winger for Luton Rugby Club.

He was driving home after an away game against Bedford Swifts on 13 September when the crash happened.

It is believed he was racing his Audi R8 against a black Porsche 911, which successfully navigated the roundabout Mr Davey's car hit.

'Debris and smoke'

William White, from Elstow, who was a passenger in another car, said he saw both vehicles swapping lanes and undertaking, with the Porsche driver gesturing and waving in his mirror.

Mr Davey tried to overtake the Porsche which blocked the Audi, said Mr White, who "saw the car airborne followed by debris and smoke".

The victim's car hit the roundabout at about 48 mph, propelling it into the air before it landed on its roof, the court heard.

Image caption Mr Davey's Audi R8 hit a roundabout on the A6 at Wixams

Collision investigator PC Bob Wagstaff, told the inquest the two cars were racing but "there was no obvious contact between the cars and that conditions were good and the road surface was in good order".

Bedfordshire coroner Tom Osborne concluded Mr Davey died as a result of a road traffic collision.

"The message from this inquest should be that speed doesn't just result in points or a lost licence or a written off car, loss of job or prison... it results in death," he said.

After the inquest, Mr Davey's father Chris said he hoped his son's death would act as a warning to those tempted to speed.

"We just do not realise our vulnerability," he said.

"If it makes one person not chase another car then my son's life has not been in vain."

He said he still hoped the Porsche driver would be identified.

"I know if the cars had been the other way round Mark would have stood there next to you and would have comforted your loved ones… even today you can come forward," he said.

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