Perth driver ‘hit 103km/h’ before fatal crash

Perth driver ‘hit 103km/h’ before fatal crash

A MAN is accused of driving more than 40km/h over the speed limit with his son beside him before crashing in Perth, killing an elderly woman and leaving the teenager seriously injured.

James Murray went on trial in the District Court of WA on Tuesday, charged with dangerous driving resulting in death and dangerous driving occasioning grievous bodily harm.

Prosecutor James Nicholls told the court Murray hit speeds of up to 103km/h in his BMW before the crash in Bedford on a Sunday morning in July 2017, which occurred after he attempted to overtake another vehicle by passing through a narrow gap in traffic on a wet road.

It is alleged Murray slid as he lost control of the car, crossing over a median strip into the other lane, colliding side-on with a Holden driven by 85-year-old Mary Lillian Rigby before mounting the kerb and hitting a brick fence in front of a house.

The state also argues three of the BMW’s tyres were worn below the legal limit, which contributed to the dangerousness of his driving.

But defence counsel Steve Walker said the tragic collision was not attributable to his client’s driving.

He admitted Murray was speeding, but said he was doing 93km/h “around the point of the yaw”.

Mr Walker argues Murray had completed the overtaking manoeuvre and was positioned correctly in the roadway when a “catastrophic” mechanical failure occurred between the differential and rear left wheel.

Also, the Dynamic Stability Control system “did not do what it should have done”.

“It was on, it should have controlled the yaw and clearly it did not,” the lawyer said.

BMW engineers would not reveal how the DSC worked, he added.

“Some of the information we would hope for, what the computer might or might not do, isn’t available,” Mr Walker said.

The court heard the speed limit on the road was 60km/h and Mr Nicholls said a crash reconstruction expert had used CCTV footage to determine Murray’s speed.

Mr Walker also disputes the tyres were unserviceable.