Four drivers facing jail after being found guilty over ‘stupid’ fatal road race

Four motorists involved in a fatal high-speed race have been warned they face long jail terms after they were all found guilty of causing death by dangerous driving.

Jurors at Lincoln Crown Court were told Keelan Tuke, Josh Dobb, Keigan Launder and Riley Duncombe drove at “simply stupid” speeds on the A16 at Utterby, Lincolnshire, and were jointly responsible for killing 20-year-old Denii Reynolds.

Tuke, who was in the lead vehicle with Ms Reynolds as his front-seat passenger, told the court he had no memory of the crash and denied knowing whether his driving was dangerous or not.

The 21-year-old’s co-defendants all blamed Tuke for causing the crash by clipping a kerb in his Citroen C1 and hitting an oncoming Vauxhall Corsa, fatally injuring Ms Reynolds and leaving its driver with serious injuries.

Dobb, 21, Launder, 23, and Duncombe, 19, all stayed at the scene of the crash and called the emergency services on the night of October 26 2021.

Tuke, of Grafton Street, Grimsby; Duncombe, of Thesiger Walk, Grimsby; Launder, of Louth Road, Grimsby; and Dobb, of Hadleigh Road, Immingham, were found guilty on Monday.

As well as being unanimously convicted of causing death by dangerous driving, they were also found guilty of causing serious injury to the Corsa’s driver while they were driving dangerously.

Judge James House KC granted bail to all four defendants until a sentencing hearing on November 24.

He told them: “I am adjourning your case – that is to allow for the preparation of pre-sentence reports and also victim impact statements.

“A custodial sentence of some considerable length is inevitable in this case, but I will give them that time (on bail) to sort out their affairs.

“I grant you all bail on the same terms as before. You must understand that that is no indication as to the sort of sentence that I must impose.”

In the Crown’s closing speech to the jury last week, prosecutor Jeremy Janes said: “We say the four defendants were driving dangerously at the time of the collision and each defendant’s driving was a cause of the death.”

The defendants, who had met in Cleethorpes and then driven to Louth, were “racing and driving competitively” in a 50mph zone on the return journey, the court heard.

“In effect each was encouraging and egging on the dangerous driving of the others,” Mr Janes said. “All took the racing line through the corner immediately prior to the accident.”

Mr Janes said one of the defendants was “revving the nuts off” an 11-year-old van, and that the “simply stupid speeds” clearly showed the road was being used a race track.

Analysis by expert investigators found that at the time of the crash Tuke was driving at speeds between 75mph and 98mph – the latter being the fastest his car could travel, according to its manufacturer.

Dobb, who was driving a Ford Fiesta van, told the court he was not driving dangerously or even carelessly, claiming he had not exceeded 80mph.

Launder, at the wheel of a Mercedes A-Class, said he had not overtaken anyone and had not driven at excessive speeds

Duncombe, who had passed his driving test only a week beforehand, was driving a Ford Fiesta and also denied driving at dangerous speeds.