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"Starship Pilot" Committed Following Fatal Crash

Posted Aug 26 2010 4:47am

A 31-year old psychiatric patient has been found not guilty by reason of insanity following a fatal crash in which he reportedly believed he was piloting the Starship Enterprise at 6,000 mph.  Matthew Kelliher of Reading, U.K. was detained under the Mental Health Act after the January 27 accident which killed Duncan and Annelise Storrar.  According to police reports, Kelliher came to police attention when he was observed on Tilehurst Road commanding the lights to change from red to green.  When he saw police approaching, Kelliher then jumped into his Ford Mondeo and sped away.  After running a red light, Kelliher then led the police in a 40-second chase before ramming the Storrars' car at high speed.  The couple died instantly when their vehicle burst into flames.  On being arrested, he told officers that "I've got to pay for my sins" and that "I should have killed you too but I'm not gonna".

Although Kelliher was charged with dangerous driving causing death for which he initially pleaded not guilty, he was later sent for a psychiatric evaluation.  In evidence presented to the court, Kelliher was determined to be suffering from an "acute polymorphic psychotic disorder" and believed that his car had "powers like the Starship Enterprise".  In reviewing the facts of the case, Berkhshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust announced that an investigation would be launched when it was determined that Kelliher had been taken to Prospect Park Hospital in Reading for a psychiatric assessment on the day of the accident but released the same day because he refused to admit himself voluntarily.   He had apparently been taken to the hospital by mental health workers from his job at the European Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasts after telling co-workers that he was Jesus Christ.  Kelliher had spent eleven days in Prospect Park Hospital in 2009 following a similar psychotic episode. He stopped taking his medication in 2009 because he believed it was "rubbish".

Kelliher will be held at Littlemore Mental Health Centre in Oxfordshire indefinitely.

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