Teen killed in crash after business owner takes him for a drive in customer’s Ferrari

Car storage business owner is accused of careless driving following a crash which led to the death of a 13-year-old

Teen killed in crash after business owner takes him for a drive in customer’s Ferrari
Ferrari built 349 F50s, between 1995 and 1997, and now sell for as much as £1,500,000. Image: Bigstock.

A court has heard how the owner of a classic car storage company crashed a £1.2 million Ferrari F50 on private land, killing a 13-year-old passenger.

Thomas Wilkins, prosecuting, said Matthew Cobden had been moving the Ferrari when he was approached by the boy’s mother’s partner, Justin Smith who was delivering a battery.

Cobden offered to take the boy for a ride in the supercar along an access road in North Warnborough, Hampshire.

Neither of them used their seatbelt, Winchester Crown Court heard.

The Ferrari hit a fence post, flipping it into the air, rotating 270 degrees and killing Alexander.

The prosecution said the fatal incident was caused by driver error.

“Took off uncontrollably”

Thomas Wilkins said: “When asked afterwards how the incident happened, the defendant described that shortly before he had put his foot on the accelerator and the vehicle just took off uncontrollably.

“He doesn’t say he experienced any difficulties with the car prior to that point and there is ample evidence the car was in good working order earlier that day.”

The court also heard how £50,000 worth of repairs were made by the vehicle’s owner over the course of a year after they bought it in 2015.

Thomas Wilkins added: ‘It was only being stored at the site pending a sale at auction.

“The owner bought the car in 2015 and spent £50,000 on it before deciding to sell it.”

The morning before the accident, the V12-powered F50 had been driven for a photo shoot at Bruntingthorpe airfield, in Lincolnshire ahead of sale at auction, according to The Times.

Motoring journalist, Richard Meaden drove it that morning and described the car as a fabulous example of the Ferrari F50.

Cobden denies causing death by careless driving and has argued that the car was faulty.

The trial continues.

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