South West Wales

'Racing' drivers deny death by dangerous driving

Two drivers have gone on trial accused of causing the death of a pensioner after a high speed "burn up" on a dual carriageway.

Rhydian Griffiths, 20, and Richard Williams, 22 had allegedly been travelling at up to 100 mph before they both struck the car of Colin James, 66.

Mr James died minutes after the crash on the A48 between Cross Hands and Pont Abraham in April 2009.

The defendants deny the charges and the trial continues at Swansea Crown Court.

They are accused of causing the death by dangerous driving of Mr James, from Cross Hands, as he turned across the road.

He was struck first by Mr Griffiths' modified Seat Ibiza and was sent spinning into Mr Williams' Renault Clio, the court heard.

The defendants did not know each other but had started racing after Richard Williams, from Ammanford, Carmarthenshire, had turned on to the A48 at an earlier junction.

The prosecution claimed it was their excessive speed and "competitive driving" which caused the crash.

James Jenkins, prosecuting, said: "It was a nasty junction, no question of that."

He added: "The prosecution say these defendants were racing each other, driving competitively

"The prosecution case is that these two drivers were driving at a speed between 88 and 100 mph.

"Not only were they exceeding the speed limit but their purpose in exceeding that speed limit was to race each other."

Rhydian Griffiths, from Nantycaws, Carmarthenshire, was driving with his heavily-pregnant girlfriend and a relative in the car.

Another car, driven by friends, was some distance behind and the group was heading for Swansea.

Mr Williams was alone in his Clio.

'Burn-up'

Mr Jenkins said: "Rhydian Griffiths with his enhanced Seat Ibiza felt like driving fast that night."

He said he had tried to draw his friends in the other car into a race, then Mr Williams' car pulled onto the A48 "very fast".

The two cars then allegedly engaged in a "race" or "burn up", occupying both lanes of the dual carriageway.

The prosecution said an accident might have occurred under different circumstances at the difficult junction.

However, Mr Jenkins added: "While it may be the case that a collision would have or might have occurred, the collision that did occur was brought about substantially by the dangerous driving of the defendants - and it was that dangerous driving that was the cause of the death of Mr James."

The trial will resume on Tuesday.

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