90mph road race led to rugby starlet's death

A YOUNG rugby hopeful died in a car crash as his friend and another youth raced each other at more than 90mph along a winding country road, a court heard.

Richard Wilkinson, 17, the grandson of a former Scotland internationalist, had played in a tournament in the Borders just before the accident.

He was a passenger in a car driven by his team-mate, Sean Goodfellow, 19, who attempted to keep up with another vehicle but failed to negotiate a bend and somersaulted into a field.

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The driver of the other car, Murray McAllan, 19, who had been to watch motor racing that day, had clipped the verge as he led the way through the bend, but managed to keep control.

The two cars had raced for about four miles on the A698 between Kelso and Jedburgh, causing one alarmed motorist to phone the police and another to pull off the road.

Goodfellow, a forestry worker, of Myreslaw Green, Hawick, and McAllan, an apprentice engineer, of Bellrig, Bonchester Bridge, near Hawick, face several years' detention.

They have admitted causing the death of Mr Wilkinson, a farmer, of Newmill on Slitrig, near Hawick, by dangerous driving on 4 April last year. They will be sentenced next month. The High Court in Edinburgh was told that Mr Wilkinson, whose grandfather Doug Jackson won several caps in the 1960s, played for Hawick Wanderers Under-18s in a sevens competition in Kelso that Saturday.

He was in the front passenger seat of a Peugeot 306 GTi, which Goodfellow's father had bought only a week earlier.

McAllan was driving home at about 6:30pm in his father's black Mitsubishi Colt. He and Goodfellow knew each other by sight, but were not friends.

The court heard the two cars were travelling at about 90mph when the Peugeot overturned and landed on its roof.

Mr Wilkinson was fatally injured by piece of wooden fencing that pierced the windscreen

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Goodfellow told police: "I was about a car and a half behind him, travelling at 80-90mph. The Mitsubishi braked harshly and I had to brake harshly… we hit the fence… the car flipped over. I could see Wilko wasn't moving… I went into the corner too hard."