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Student (21) in court accused of causing girlfriend’s death by dangerous driving

Zane Brown is accused of causing the death of 17-year-old Rachael Lowry

Zane Brown

Rachael Lowry

Paul HigginsBelfast Telegraph

A university student appeared in court today accused of causing his teenage girlfriend’s death by dangerous driving.

Sports science student Zane Brown (21) appeared in the dock of Armagh Magistrates’ Court, sitting in Newry, where he confirmed he was aware of the single charge against him.

Brown, from Dorchester Drive, Portadown, is accused of causing the death of 17-year-old Rachael Lowry by driving dangerously on the Coolmillish Road in Markethill on September 24, 2020.

A talented and award-winning drum major with Quinn Memorial Pipe Band, Ms Lowry was the passenger in Brown’s Ford Fiesta when it was involved in a single-vehicle collision at around 1pm that day.

While none of the alleged facts surrounding her death were opened in court, a prosecuting lawyer submitted that the legal papers and statements formed the basis of a prima facie case against Brown, which was conceded by his defence solicitor.

District Judge Anne Marshall said she was satisfied there was a case to answer and returned the case to Newry Crown Court.

Brown is scheduled to be arraigned on March 28 and was freed today on £500 bail.

Rachael Lowry

Applying for legal aid, Brown’s solicitor revealed Brown is currently studying for a degree in sports science and is currently on placement with Healthy Kidz.

Healthy Kidz is a community-interest company and social enterprise, founded in 2014, which delivers physical activity sessions and health and wellbeing services to thousands of children throughout Northern Ireland.

Following Ms Lowry’s death, her family expressed their heartfelt grief at the tragic and sudden loss of Rachael, who was “especially special to the entire family circle”.

They said: “Rachael had grown into a beautiful 17-year-old girl with great gifts in music and creativity.

“The family were so proud of Rachael when in 2017 she won the Junior World Drum Major Championship and again in 2019 when she was runner-up in the Juvenile World Drum Major competition.

“With excellent GCSE results this year and beginning a health and social care course at the Southern Regional College in Armagh, Rachael had a bright future ahead of her. However, the family’s joy in Rachael’s achievements were turned into tears of overwhelming grief.

“The family would like to express their sincerest thanks to the PSNI, Air Ambulance and neighbours at the scene who all cared for Rachael.

“The family [wish to] request privacy as they mourn Rachael’s passing and try to come to terms with such a great loss to their family that will affect every part of their lives.”

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