Devon

Drink-driver fled Torquay crash that killed friend

Robert Turcu Image copyright Devon and Cornwall Police
Image caption Robert Turcu crashed into a tree as he drove home from a nightclub

A drink-driver who fled the scene of a crash that killed his friend has been jailed for two years and eight months.

Robert Turcu, 20, smashed into a tree on Falkland Road, Torquay, as he drove home from a nightclub at about 03:00 BST on 11 October.

Andrei Zaharia was killed instantly, but his friend left without calling the emergency services for help.

Turcu had lost his licence a month earlier for using a mobile phone while driving, Exeter Crown Court heard.

The chef, who admitted causing death by dangerous driving, had borrowed his uncle's BMW without permission and was showing off to his passengers by driving at almost twice the 30mph limit.

Image copyright Google
Image caption The crash happened on Falkland Road

Back-seat passenger Alexandra Chelaru suffered suffered a broken leg and foot in the crash.

A passing driver discovered the wreck, with Mr Zaharia, a 23-year-old Romanian national, dead in the front passenger seat, and Mr Chelaru screaming in pain.

Turcu, who was also originally from Romania, handed himself in to police about two hours later and was still over the alcohol limit when a blood sample was taken.

Judge David Evans told him: "You drove on wet roads, at night, when your ability to drive was impaired by alcohol, and at excessive and inappropriate speeds.

"You created a substantial risk of injuring or killing someone.

"You did not stop and fled the scene without regard to the plight of your passengers and without calling for assistance for them."

Turcu, of Warren Road, Torquay, was also banned from driving for two years.

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