A Romanian man who drove the wrong way on the M1 towards oncoming traffic after he’d been involved in an earlier crash has today been convicted of causing the death of a man by dangerous driving.
Adrian Radu, 28, of Alfreton Road, Nottingham, pleaded guilty to causing death by dangerous driving when he appeared at Nottingham Crown Court today (Tuesday 11 September 2018).
He’d previously pleaded guilty to charges of dangerous driving, driving while disqualified, driving while over the prescribed limit and driving without insurance.
Officers were called to a collision involving a car driven by Radu, a van and a lorry which happened on the M1 southbound, about two kilometres after junction 27 with the A608, at about 5.40am on Saturday 24 March 2018.
The back seat passenger in the van, 48-year-old Mark Downham, from Chorley, Lancashire, was taken to hospital but died from his injuries two days later.
The court heard how Radu was seen by other motorists driving a Vauxhall Astra on the M1 southbound in an erratic and dangerous manner prior to the collision, often stopping for no apparent reason.
Dash cam footage of the crash showed Radu’s Astra travelling ahead of the lorry in lane two. Suddenly the car broke sharply and commenced a u-turn manoeuvre which caused another vehicle travelling in the same lane to take evasive action and swerve into lane three to avoid colliding with it.
Due to the last-minute swerving of this vehicle the van driver who was travelling behind in lane two was unable to avoid colliding with the back of Radu’s Astra. The van then hit the offside of the lorry.
Following the crash Radu failed to stop at the scene and instead drove northbound in lane four of the southbound carriageway of the M1, for approximately 550m before eventually coming to a stop.
Radu failed a roadside breath test and was duly arrested. Radu also subsequently failed the intoxilyser procedure at the police station providing a reading of 71micrograms (twice the legal limit).
Radu will next appear for sentencing at Nottingham Crown Court on Thursday (13 September 2018).