‘Laughing driver’ spotted moments before Doncaster fireball death crash

The scene in Poppyfields Way, Branton following the fatal crash which occurred on August 25 last year.

The scene in Poppyfields Way, Branton following the fatal crash which occurred on August 25 last year.

A driver was laughing behind the wheel while overtaking just moments before a fireball crash which killed two people, a court heard.

James Maughan, aged 21, of Marshland Road, Moorends, denies being the driver of a black Renault Megane which crashed into a property in Poppyfields Way, Branton, on August 25 last year.

Liam Aldred, 26,  died when a car he was travelling in crashed into a house in Poppyfields Way, Branton and caught fire.

Liam Aldred, 26, died when a car he was travelling in crashed into a house in Poppyfields Way, Branton and caught fire.

The crash resulted in the deaths of passengers 26-year-old Liam Aldred and 27-year-old Dean McIntyre, and the serious injury of Bradley Stevenson, aged 21. A 15-year-old male, who was also in the car at the time, sustained minor injuries.

In a witness statement read out during a trial at Sheffield Crown Court yesterday, James McLintock told how he was driving his black Vauxhall Corsa from Cantley towards Branton shortly before the incident when a “dark coloured car” overtook two others and was heading straight into his path.

He said: “A car appeared in the road, it whipped around and raced towards me overtaking the other two vehicles and absolutely flew towards me.

“I swerved to my left.“

Dean McIntyre, aged 27, died when a car he was travelling in crashed into a house in Poppyfields Way, Branton and caught fire.

Dean McIntyre, aged 27, died when a car he was travelling in crashed into a house in Poppyfields Way, Branton and caught fire.

Mr McLintock, who also had a passenger in his vehicle at the time, added he saw a male driver and a male front seat passenger in the overtaking car laughing during the manoeuvre.

He said: “I saw them laughing as they came towards me and went past me.

“I would describe the manoeuvre as horrendous.

“If it would have been any closer it would have wiped us out and killed us.

Lee Peace

Lee Peace

“After seeing it (the crash incident) on the news I rang the police the following day.”

Another witness told how later that afternoon he was driving through Armthorpe when he saw two injured men close to the road.

In a statement read out in court, Luke Moorhouse said: “I saw two men, one was holding the other up.

“One had a bad burn to his leg.”

He added that their clothing looked “charred” and the pair made their way toward some nearby fields before disappearing from his view.

A previous hearing was told how Maughan was admitted into Morriston Hospital in Swansea, Wales, under the false name of Curtis O’Brian, several hours after the incident.

He is alleged to have told medics he sustained his burns during a family barbecue.

Maughan denies two counts of causing death by dangerous driving and one count of causing serious injury by dangerous driving.

The trial continues.

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