'Smiley and happy' Pulborough teenager died in crash after 114mph race on A264, court hears

A dangerous 114mph road race along the A264 resulted in the death of an '˜incredible, smiley and happy' Pulborough teenager, a court has heard.

Monday, 7th January 2019, 3:28 pm
Updated Thursday, 10th January 2019, 2:50 pm
Christopher Keating denies causing Fraser Hallam's death by dangerous driving

Fraser Hallam was just 19 when the Ford Focus RS he was a passenger in crashed in woodland near Horsham in August 2017.

Hove Crown Court heard today that the driver of the Focus, Bryn Coughlan, had been racing with a Honda Civic driven by Christopher Keating.

The tragic incident happened just after 8pm on August 17, 2017.

Christopher Keating denies causing Fraser Hallam's death by dangerous driving

Keating, 29, of Eastcroft in Horsham, denies causing Fraser’s death by dangerous driving.

He also denies dangerous driving but has pleaded guilty to an offence of careless driving.

Prosecutor Dale Sullivan said: “Bryn Coughlan was driving his green Ford Focus RS with two passengers in it, one of whom was Fraser Hallam.

“Immediately prior to losing control his vehicle was travelling at an estimated speed of between 108 and 114mph.”

Police issued an appeal for witnesses following the collision

Christopher Keating, the court heard, was driving directly behind the Ford Focus at speeds of up to 113mph.

Mr Sullivan said: “The prosecution suggest that these two drivers were racing each other with the defendant Christopher Keating in purposeful and deliberate pursuit.

“Bryn Coughlan lost directional control of his vehicle resulting in that vehicle leaving the main carriageway, entering a wooded area and ultimately coming to rest on its roof.”

Fraser sadly died at the scene, the court heard.

Fraser Hallam sadly died at the scene

Police were called to the scene where they spoke to Keating, who denied being in a race and travelling at more than 60mph.

Eyewitness Scott Spivey was on his way to pick up family from Gatwick Airport when he saw the two cars slow to a crawl before speeding off.

He said: “They shot off, both cars together.

“Pedals down at some quite incredible speed, just took off down the road together.”

However defence barrister Andrew Thompson challenged Mr Spivey's recollection of events, in particular his account that he had seen the two cars turning into an industrial estate.`

Following the tragic event in August 2017, Fraser’s family set up a JustGiving page in his memory.

On the page they describe him as ‘incredible, smiley and happy young’ and said they were ‘truly heartbroken to lose him’.

The trial continues.