SEVEN witnesses for the prosecution have told a court about the moments before a high-speed street racing incident that killed well-loved Wagga man Craig Smith in October, 2017.
The witnesses gave evidence in Wagga Local Court on Wednesday during a committal hearing for Batlow man Matthew Thomas Cahill, 19, one of the two men accused.
Mr Cahill is facing charges of manslaughter, two counts of dangerous driving occasioning death, causing bodily harm by misconduct, negligent driving occasioning death and acting with the intention to pervert the course of justice. He has not entered his pleas.
Mr Smith, 53, was reversing out of his workplace on Coleman Street, Turvey Park, when his ute and a blue Holden Commodore, which is believed to have been racing another vehicle at the time, crashed about 10am on October 23, 2017.
The impact caused Mr Smith's ute and the Commodore to travel up to 30 metres down the road before coming to rest outside the KU Kookaburra preschool.
On Wednesday, a witness, who was with three other men at Coffee Niche on Coleman Street the same time of the incident, said he heard and saw the Commodore and another car going west at "excessive speed".
"A light-coloured car trying to overtake the dark-coloured car," he said.
"I saw them come into view and raced past."
He said he believed they were travelling at more than 100km/h. While he did not see the impact, he saw the aftermath.
"We were shocked, we were shocked," he said.
When cross examined by defence barrister Christine Mendes about whether his belief in seeing an overtaking attempt was reconstructed after seeing the impact, he said no.
A motorist travelling east on that street at the time said he saw the impact on the ute.
Another witness, who was working at Saint Aidan's Presbyterian Church that morning, said he heard a loud engine and thought "it sounded like it accelerated".
"I only made it three or four steps before I saw the vehicles ... driving at speed and one car was slightly obscured from the other," he said.
"I thought the two cars would hit each other."
He said he did not attend the scene of the impact but he saw people giving first aid help.
The three other men who were also at the cafe and another motorist gave similar evidence.
In their cross-examinations, defence lawyers also questioned the witnesses about seeing the actual impact and credibility in their accounts given the short period in which the incident occurred.
A co-accused is still before the court. The hearing involving Mr Cahill continues.
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