Zach’s death: Two charged over collision

Zachary Whittall with mum Cathy in December 2013.
Zachary Whittall with mum Cathy in December 2013.

Two men have appeared at court charged with causing death by dangerous driving following a road crash which killed a young man from the Market Harborough area.

The charges relate to a two-vehicle collision 11 months ago which killed passenger Zach Whittall (21), from Great Oxendon, near Market Harborough.

Mr Whittall was a chef at The Olive Branch pub and restaurant in Clipsham, Rutland.

The crash happened on Clipsham Road, Stretton, Rutland, at about 11pm on August 19 last year when Mr Whittall was returning home from work in a car driven by his friend and work colleague Luke Mercieca.

Mr Mercieca (22), who now lives in Malta, and another man– Daniel Smith (25) of Wittering, Cambridgeshire – both appeared at Loughborough Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday last week.

The two men have both been charged with causing death by dangerous driving, a statement released by Leicestershire Police confirmed on Thursday afternoon last week.

The men were both granted bail pending a further hearing at Leicester Crown Court on Wednesday, August 12.

The charges relate to the two-vehicle collision in Rutland last year, the police statement confirmed.

At the time of the crash, Zach’s mother Cathy Whittall told the Mail: “We are absolutely devastated by what has happened.

“You never imagine you will outlive your own children.”

The Olive Branch’s co-owner Ben Jones also added at the time: “Zach was a hard-working, dedicated and passionate young chef.

“He was full of smiles, positive, and always had a joke to tell.”