Grandmother killed in fatal crash by racers who drove up to 140mph

Two boy racers killed a much loved grandmother after going at speeds of up to 140mph.
Two young men killed a grandmother in Ayr last year after driving at speeds up to 140mphTwo young men killed a grandmother in Ayr last year after driving at speeds up to 140mph
Two young men killed a grandmother in Ayr last year after driving at speeds up to 140mph

Joan Price, 59, was returning from brass band practice when tragedy struck on 30 January last year.

The smash occurred as banned driver Logan Knox and John Gribben raced along the A77 near Ayr, South Ayrshire.

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Jurors heard how one motorist described their behaviour as “absolute madness”.

Knox, 20, of Kirkoswald in Ayrshire, eventually lost control of his powerful Volkswagen Golf GTI and ploughed head on into Mrs Price’s Nissan Pulsar.

The support worker died instantly while her passenger Gillian Kay was left badly hurt.

Prosecutors claimed Knox and Gribben fled the carnage in the latter’s private-registration Audi A3.

Despite the death, Gribben took part in further high speed driving just two months later described as using “Ayrshire roads as a racetrack”.

The duo’s involvement can now be revealed following the end of Gribben’s trial at the High Court in Glasgow today.

Gribben, 19, was found guilty of causing death by dangerous driving.

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Knox was jailed for five years and four months last summer after he pled guilty to the same charge.

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A judge ordered a reporting ban on that case until a verdict in Gribben’s trial.

Gribben had his bail continued today, but was warned he also faces a jail term.

Members of Mrs Price’s distraught family had wept and consoled each other as the verdict was announced.

They were later too upset to comment as they left court.

The collision happened on the A77 on the outskirts of Ayr close to Prestwick Airport.

The stretch of road where the crash occurred was well known not to be covered by speed cameras.

Knox’s hearing last year was told the stretch was “frequently used by local youths showing off their cars to one another”.

Knox – a labourer – was banned from the road at the time.

He had only been disqualified less than three months earlier with the suspension not due to end until May 2017.

But he was behind the wheel of a high powered Volkswagen Golf GTI bought just a week earlier.

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He met Gribben at a nearby retail park – a “known gathering site for the youth car culture” in Ayr.

Gribben – a mechanic – was driving an Audi. The pair left the car park around 9:30pm in their respective vehicles.

Mrs Price was meanwhile returning to her home in Troon, South Ayrshire, after band practice.

The court heard Knox and Gribben went on to “engage in a race” on the A77.

One witness said their cars were so close together, she thought it was actually one vehicle.

The pair overtook other vehicles, weaved in and out of traffic and crossed onto the opposite side of the road.

Knox ended up ahead of Gribben. A Volkswagen van was then in front of Knox.

Mrs Price and her friend were meantime heading in the opposite direction.

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Knox tried to undertake the Volkswagen, but clipped the van and spun out of control. He ploughed head on into Mrs Price’s car causing “catastrophic damage”.

The grandmother tragically died at the scene.

Knox was not there when police arrived, but was later identified as the driver.

A charge at Gribben’s trial – later withdrawn – stated he did “assist” Knox and drove him from the scene of the crime.

Gribben, of Ayr, pinned the blame on Knox at his trial.

Knox was brought from custody to give evidence and admitted his speed was “probably about 140(mph) at some point”.

Mrs Price, from Troon in South Ayrshire, was described in court as a “much loved wife, mother, gran and family”.

The mother-of-three’s death had had a “profound effect”. She had been married to her husband Colin for 26 years.

Her fellow band member also testified at Gribben’s trial and said she was still badly affected by the ordeal.

The 40 year-old remains on crutches having suffered a fractured heel. She has severe arthritis and is in “constant pain”.