South Scotland

Hawick rugby player died in 90mph race

Sean Goodfellow and Murray McAllan
Image caption Goodfellow and McAllan admitted causing the young rugby player's death

A court has heard how a 90mph race between two teenage drivers along a twisting Borders road ended in the death of a 17-year-old rugby player.

Richard Wilkinson, who played for Hawick Wanderers, was described as a "great prospect".

He was a passenger in a car which failed to take a sharp bend on the A698 and ended up in a field.

Sean Goodfellow and Murray McAllan, both 19, admitted driving dangerously and causing his death in April 2009.

The High Court in Edinburgh heard that Mr Wilkinson had been playing in a sevens rugby competition on the day of the crash.

He was a front-seat passenger in his team-mate Goodfellow's Peugeot GTi.

Also in the car were fellow rugby player Blair Irving and spectator Stuart Hogg.

Overtaking manoeuvres

The other car involved in the incident, a Mitsubishi Colt, was being driven by McAllan, who had been at a motor racing event nearby.

Advocate depute Lesley Shand, QC, told judge Kenneth MacIver that after stopping for petrol in Kelso, McAllan was heading for Jedburgh.

Goodfellow was travelling in the same direction behind two other cars.

McAllan overtook him and one of the cars, then Goodfellow responded by overtaking that car so that he was immediately behind the Mitsubishi.

Image caption Richard Wilkinson was described in court as a "great prospect"

Ms Shand said that a passenger in another car was so concerned with the manoeuvre that he used his mobile phone to contact Crimestoppers.

Both vehicles were travelling in excess of 90 mph.

The court then heard that while still travelling at about 90mph the two cars approached a right hand bend on the Kelso to Jedburgh road.

McAllan braked heavily, drifted onto the nearside verge, but kept the car on the road.

However, Goodfellow failed to take the bend, smashed through a fence, struck a hedge and overturned.

Mr Wilkinson was fatally injured when a piece of the fencing pierced the windscreen, causing severe head injuries.

The other three men in the car were uninjured.

Ms Shand said Mr Irving was on his knees screaming after the crash, while Goodfellow was hysterical, screaming he had killed his friend.

Goodfellow, a forestry worker of Myreslaw Green, and McAllan, an apprentice engineer, of Bonchester Bridge, both Hawick, admitted dangerous driving and causing the death of Mr Wilkinson.

The young rugby player, who lived at Slitrig, Hawick, was the grandson of former Scotland international Doug Jackson, and was regarded by his club as "a great prospect".

Sentence was deferred on Goodfellow and McAllan until 28 July.

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