Kirkcaldy teenager caused death of friend in speeding BMW crash

High Court
High Court

A teenage motorist caused the death of his best friend after his speeding high-powered BMW car came off a road and struck a tree, a court heard today (Tuesday, October 11).

Callum Brown (20) was just 18 when his dangerous driving caused the death of Brian Phimister (16) in the crash between Kirkcaldy and Coaltown of Wemyss on June 5 last year.

Sixteen-year-old Brian Phimister was killed in the crash

Sixteen-year-old Brian Phimister was killed in the crash

The High Court in Edinburgh heard how police investigators estimated that Brown was driving at least 58 miles per hour on the 40 mph speed limit road.

Brown, who has a previous conviction for speeding, was negotiating a bend when he lost control of the car.

Prosecution lawyer Jane Farquharson told Judge Craig Scott QC that a woman who lived nearby rushed to the collision scene and was horrified at what she saw.

She added: “Police, fire and ambulance personnel all attended at the scene shortly thereafter. The first paramedic on the scene observed the car, it was lying on its side and folded around the tree.”

It was obvious to the paramedic, Ms Farquharson said, that Mr Phimister was dead.

Brown, of Links Street, Kirkcaldy, pleaded guilty to a charge of causing death by dangerous driving.

Ms Farquharson told Judge Scott that Brown was good friends with Mr Phimister. They saw each other on a daily basis and spent most evenings driving around the local area.

On the afternoon before the collision, Brown picked up the apprentice mechanic at approximately 3.20pm.

Ms Farquharson said that at approximately 12.35am on June 5, George Heggie was driving home from work when he came to the collision scene.

She added: “Mr Heggie stopped his car. As he then made his way on foot to the crashed vehicle, he observed that it had hit a tree sideways and that the said vehicle appeared to be wrapped around the tree.

“Mr Heggie heard a male voice shouting for help at which point, and because his mobile phone battery had run down and he was unable to make any calls, he reassured the man that he was going to get help.

“Mr Heggie drove to the first house he saw on that road and was accompanied back to the scene of the collision with its householder Freda Walker in order to assist the occupants of the car. A 999 phone call was made.”

Ms Farquharson told the court that the fire service had to cut Brown free from the crash. The car had to be “righted” to allow Mr Phimister to be removed.

“From the marks on the road and the damage profile seen on the car, the accused Mr Brown approached the bend in the road at excessive speed whilst trying to take the shortest possible route around the inside of the bend, he lost control of his vehicle which caused the car to yaw,” she said.

“This in turn caused his car to be travel off the road and strike the tree.”

While Brown was being taken to hospital for treatment for injuries he told a paramedic about the lead up to the collision.

Ms Farquharson said: “On his way to the hospital, the accused Mr Brown spoke of the accident to a paramedic.

“In respect of his manoeuvre around the bend, he volunteered information that whilst he normally dropped down to the third gear for that corner, because he was tired he didn’t and he could just remember skidding.”

Defence solicitor advocate Gordon Martin said his client had expressed remorse for what happened.

Mr Martin added: “Mr Brown appreciates that his expression of remorse will be of no comfort to the friends and family of Mr Phimister.

“It should be noted that the deceased and Mr Brown were best friends.”

Judge Scott deferred sentence on Brown to November 22 at the High Court in Paisley.