Lorry driver jailed for killing woman motorist as he watched TV in cab
PUBLISHED: 07:00 09 April 2019
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A lorry driver has been jailed for killing a woman when he crashed into her car on the QE II bridge at Dartford because he was watching a video on his phone.
Viorel Sandulache, 26, was jailed for nine years on Monday, April 8.
Kent police said Sandulache was distracted by watching a video when he drove in to the back of the 21-year-old victim’s vehicle at the Dartford River Crossing on November 3, 2017.
Sandulache, of Oakfield Road, Croydon, had denied causing death by dangerous driving but was found guilty following a trial at Maidstone Crown Court.
The court was told the collision took place at around 4.05am.
The victim’s car was travelling ahead of the lorry and braked while travelling on the downhill section of the bridge.
Sandulache however maintained his speed and drove into the rear of the car, the court heard.
The car driver sustained serious injuries and died two days later at a London hospital.
Kent Police’s Serious Collision Investigation Unit obtained dash cam footage of Sandulache at the wheel in the moments leading up to the collision.
The footage showed him looking down at his phone, which had been placed above the speed dial. Music could also be heard in the background.
Analysis of the phone revealed he had searched for an episode of a TV show seven minutes before the collision took place.
Officers watched the episode and found the same music could be heard 6 minutes and 45 seconds into the programme, which coincides with the time the collision took place.
After the court case finished, investigating officer Pc David Jeeves, said: “Sandulache displayed shockingly poor standards of driving in the moments leading up to the collision and his decision to watch a television show at the wheel has ultimately killed an innocent, young woman.
“There is no excuse for the decision he chose to make yet he denied the offence in court, forcing the victim’s family to go through a trial on top of the trauma of losing a loved one.
“No sentence is going to undo the damage he has caused. If anything comes from this sentence, I hope other motorists learn from the lessons of this case so another life is not needlessly lost.”