Road racers drove like they were in ‘The Fast and the Furious” in crash that killed four

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A group of road racers drove like they were in “The Fast and the Furious” egged on by others shortly before one hit a quadbike at 140mph, killing all four riding on it, a court heard.

Five men have denied encouraging a road race involving Nissan 350Z sportscar which killed four youngsters as it hit the back of the unlit quad.

George Tomlinson, 25, Nathan Jackson, 21, Stephen Hebden, 23, Bradley Lockwood, 21 and Lee Fisher, 28, all deny encouraging racing along an unlit section of Hemsworth bypass.

Leeds Crown Court heard the group had been egging each other on to reach death-defying speeds on the unlit public road.

Police claim the Nissan, which was driven by Daniel Raynor, 23, registered a speed of 144mph during the five registered drag laps performed throughout the evening’s ‘entertainment’.

The court heard when police officers pulled detail from his passenger Matthew Todd’s phone his stop watch was left on ‘1 minute 48 seconds’ which alleged the pair were not just driving fast - but racing.

Opening the case today, prosecutor Kama Melly, QC, said: “On September 26, 2015, a large number of people met up to socialise.

“The meeting was not to drink alcohol, go dancing at a nightclub or listen to music, but to participate in a group whose interest was driving - driving fast and driving dangerously.”

Around 15 modded vehicles were described driving “bumper to bumper” and “flying” along the Upton A6201, between Pontefract and Doncaster.

Around 10 members of the public witnessed the group of cars “flying” past them as they drove along Hemsworth bypass on September 26, 2015.

But it wasn’t until around 12.30am on September 27 when the Nissan 350Z struck the quad bike.

Miss Melly told the court: “A witness had seen the vehicles and wondered whether they [the group of racers] would be there on her return.

“She said the scene was something like out of the film the Fast and the Furious.

“As they approached the bridge a witness saw the two racing vehicles had joined a line of vehicles with the Nissan in the middle of the line.”

The court heard the quadbike occupants, Terrie Kirby, 16, Brandon Brown, 20, Ryan Beal, 20, and Alexandra Binns, 18, all suffered serious injuries which later proved fatal.

The jury was told the four youngsters had been celebrating Terrie’s 16th birthday when they were struck by the car.

Miss Melly told the court the quad bike had only been on the same road “by chance” and it was at the wrong place at the wrong time.

The jury were told Raynor and Todd had already pleaded guilty to death by dangerous driving prior to the trial of the five men.

The court heard that defendant Fisher claims he had not been at the alleged racetrack and had gone for a relaxing drive after work.

The other four men said they were at the roadside where the cars had met - but no racing was taking place when they were present at the scene.

Miss Melly said the presence of the five defendants as part of the crowd was to “raise the competitive flavour” of the event.

She said: “This case is not about the collision itself but it is the crown’s case that the defendants’ presence encouraged the dangerous driving that occurred over the course of the evening.

“These defendants went to this bypass for this very reason - indeed what other reason is there to being there, on an unlit layby, on a railway bridge, on an Autumn evening?”

Tomlinson, Jackson, Hebden, Lockwood and Fisher all of Upton, South Yorkshire, deny encouraging and assisting in the commission of a dangerous driving offence.

The trial, which is expected to last five weeks, continues.