THE DEVASTATED son of a man killed by a hit-a-run driver has told of his desperate attempt to save his dad's life.

John Richardson’s life support machine was turned off a week after he was struck by a Vauxhall Vectra, one of two cars which were racing on Rishton Lane, Great Lever on September 20.

His son, John Stephens, told a judge at Bolton's Crown Court how he heard the collision outside his brother's house and ran outside.

"When I turned to look I noticed my dad on the ground and realised he had been hit by a car," said Mr Stephens.

"I ran over to help him and tried to save him until the paramedics arrived.

"Nobody should ever have to see their father dying on the ground. I held his hand while he was on the ground and he effectively died at the scene."

READ MORE: Mr Stephens' full statement 

The driver of the Vectra, 22-year-old Daniel Salvin, ran off and was later arrested in Northern Ireland.

He appeared at Bolton Crown Court via a video link from Forest Bank prison after pleading guilty to causing death by dangerous driving.

The court heard how, the the time of the collision, Salvin, of Eustace Street, Bolton, was racing the driver of a VW Golf, who has not yet been found.

Brian Berlyne, prosecuting, told the judge how Salvin only had a provisional driving licence and no insurance when he visited friends and pubs in Bolton and Westhoughton on that day, drinking beer and vodka.

The court heard that Salvin had bought the Vectra days earlier in order make visits to say goodbye as he was moving to Northern Ireland with his partner and baby daughter.

Just minutes before he collided with Mr Richardson, just after 10pm, Salvin was involved in a road rage incident with Nimrah Riaz, who was driving a Mercedes.

Both cars were slightly damaged as they tried to pass each other on narrow Hawthorne Road.

Abuse was shouted at Miss Riaz and the driver of another car on the street from people in the Vectra.

Passengers from Salvin’s car got out of the vehicle and attacked Miss Riaz’s Mercedes with a baseball bat before they drove off.

The court heard how, minutes later, Salvin driving at up to 60mph along residential 30mph limit streets, began racing a red VW Golf.

A witness, Natalie Low, saw the vehicles heading towards her on Rishton Lane.

“The vehicles were so close together that they appeared, to Miss Low, to be racing each other," said Mr Berlyne.

"They did not slow down as they went through a mini roundabout and a pedestrian crossing."

At the time grandfather-of-nine, Mr Richardson was crossing Rishton Lane.

"Mr Richardson began to increase his speed as he was crossing the road so that he was, by now, jogging," said Mr Berlyne.

"But as he reached a point about two paces from the far pavement he was struck by Mr Salvin's vehicle.

"It was clear that the impact was severe."

Mr Richardson suffered multiple injuries and died a week later.

"We were told that, after a scan, my father was being kept alive by machines and we had to make the decision, as a family, to switch them off," said Mr Stephens.

He added that the death of the much-loved grandfather has had a devastating impact on his family.

“Usually we all spend Christmas together but this year we are going down south and not even decorating the house because we don’t feel we can celebrate Christmas properly this year,” he said.

Salvin drove off after the collision and his car, with a damaged front headlamp unit, was set alight on Heywood Park View.

When arrested in Northern Ireland on October 6 Salvin initially claimed he had sold the car before the collision, but subsequently admitted he had been driving it.

Michael McKeown, defending, said Salvin is remorseful and has written a note expressing his regret.

"I am deeply sorry for my mistake/accident. I would do anything to change how it all went," he stated.

"I didn't mean to do it. I know what his family must be going through. I am really sorry."

Mr McKeown said Salvin had been "enthusiastically racing" the other car and was distracted by a back seat passenger who was drunk.

"He was in complete shock when he felt the impact with the victim," said Mr McKeown.

He added that Salvin walked back to the scene but left when he saw the ambulance.

"He knows entirely it is his fault — no one else's fault, " said Mr McKeown.

"He accepts that what he did was inexcusable and he deeply regrets it."

After hearing the evidence, Judge Walsh is due to sentence Salvin tomorrow.

He told the court: "This is an extremely grave case involving a fatality of an entirely innocent member of the public.

"This is not an easy sentencing exercise.

"I want to consider the papers with care in order to do justice to the defendant and of course, the deceased and the family of the deceased."