A MAN has appeared in court charged with causing the death of two women in a crash on Brockholes Brow.

Rachel Marie Murphy, 23, and Shelby Maher, 17, were killed when they were hit by a BMW driven by Mohmed Salma Patel as they crossed the A59, at 6.30pm on April 20 last year.

Patel, of St Michael’s Road, Blackburn, appeared at Preston Magistrates’ Court today ((THURS)) charged with two counts of causing death by dangerous driving.

Dressed in a grey suit and white shirt, with his collar open, Patel spoke only to confirm his name, address and date of birth to the court.

Both victims, who were from Preston, were in a group of five youngsters who were crossing the road when the accident happened.

Rachel died at the scene and Shelby was rushed to hospital, where she was later pronounced dead.


A 15-year-old, who was taken to Manchester Children's Hospital with a suspected broken arm and leg, has made a recovery from her injuries.

Members of Rachel and Shelby’s families wept in the packed public gallery during the 15 minute hearing.

A number of police officers and security staff were present in court for the emotionally charged hearing.

Patel was granted unconditional bail and will appear at Preston Crown Court on June 20.

As Patel left the dock, the distress of Rachel and Shelby’s families was clearly visible.

District judge David Scanlan addressed the public gallery, saying: “This has been highly emotional for everybody. Can I thank you all for your behaviour.”