Teen who took dad's Range Rover without permission appears in court for alleged drag race crash

2018-06-22 09:20
At least six cars were damaged during an illegal drag race along Victoria Road on Sunday night.

At least six cars were damaged during an illegal drag race along Victoria Road on Sunday night. (Supplied)

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A teenager who is believed to have taken his father’s Range Rover without permission appeared in court on Thursday. This after the luxury car smashed into several other cars in an alleged drag race in Pietermaritzburg on Sunday night.

The attorney who acts on behalf of the teen’s father confirmed on Thursday that the youngster had appeared in court.

The lawyer asked not to be named for professional reasons.

On the night of the incident, police confirmed that they had questioned a woman in connection with the accident but later released her.

The attorney said on Thursday that after further investigation police had arrested the teenager on Tuesday. He faces charges of reckless and negligent driving, and other charges including defeating the ends of justice and perjury.

READ: Drag racer wrecks six cars

The lawyer said the teenager had spent Tuesday night in the cells but was released the following day and given notice to appear in court on Thursday, which he did.

He told The Witness the prosecution requires additional time to investigate the matter and a final decision has yet to be taken by the state whether to proceed with prosecution against the teen.

The attorney said his client, the owner of the Range Rover, was out of the country at the time of the incident and had left the car in the care of his wife.

It was alleged that the couple’s son had used the car without permission and that he took part in a drag racing event.

Accident not part of street racing event - witness

On Thursday Sven Pottow, who claiming to have been an eyewitness to Sunday’s accident, sent an e-mail to The Witness claiming that the accident was not part of an illegal street racing event. It happened when the driver of the Range Rover lost control while speeding and crashed into the vehicles parked on the side of the road, he said.

Pottow, who described himself as a motor sport enthusiast of several motor sport disciplines, said there was only one vehicle involved in this “apparent illegal street race”.

“If research was done correctly you would have noticed that the vehicle was travelling in the opposite direction to the usual illegal street racing done in Victoria Road.”

Pottow admitted that a drag racing event had taken place in Victoria Road at around 10pm on Sunday.

He claimed the gathering was dispersed when police arrived and chased everyone away.

“I was at a friend’s workshop along Victoria Road when the crash happened. That was about half-an-hour after the police left,” he said.

'Street racing gets blamed'

“The driver of the vehicle was travelling at excessive speed coming [down Victoria Road] and due to the nature of the intersection, with a massive bump in it, caused the Range Rover to bottom out the suspension and lose control.

“The driver then slammed on brakes from the fright and that is what caused him to veer off the road into the vehicles parked on the side of the road, knocking over the street pole and coming to a rest on its side in the road.

“As a fellow motor sport enthusiast of several motor sport disciplines, it truly upsets me that the only publicity motor sport gets is negative and on grounds that did not even happen,” he said.

Pottow said he agreed with fellow motor sport enthusiast Garth Harwood, who was quoted in Thursday’s article saying they want to get a place where racing can happen in a safe and controlled environment.

“The racing is not what causes the accidents ... It is people who are drunk or high on drugs that cause it and street racing gets blamed,” he said.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  accidents  |  drag racing

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