Published: 18:48, 20 September 2019
| Updated: 19:24, 20 September 2019
A motorist whose brother and friend were killed after getting out to push his broken down car has been jailed.
Roman Samko got behind the wheel despite never having had a driving lesson.
It broke down in a live lane and the passengers were killed after being struck by another car while attempting to push it from behind.
Samko, 36 and of St John’s Road, Gravesend, was found guilty of two counts of causing death by dangerous driving, two counts of causing death by driving a vehicle while unlicensed and two counts of causing death by driving while uninsured following a trial at Woolwich Crown Court.
He was sentenced to two years at the same court today.
The court heard the collision took place at around 10.55pm on March 10, moments after Samko's white Volkswagen Golf came to a gradual stop in the third lane of four on the A2 London-bound.
The occupants then sat in the stationary vehicle for a short period before three passengers got out with the intention of pushing the car.
Seconds later, another car travelling on the A2 collided with them. Samko's older brother Zdenek, 36, and friend Jan Gulas, 21, both of Gravesend, died at the scene.
A forensic investigator concluded the collision with the other vehicle was unavoidable due to the speed limit, the time of night, poor lighting and Samko’s hazard and position lights being obscured by the pair.
The investigating officer also found the vehicle's head gasket was warped likely resulting in long-term over heating problems.
In addition to this, Samko was found not to have a driving licence or valid insurance.
Investigating officer Det Con Mark Robinson said: "Two men needlessly lost their lives due to Samko’s deliberate and enormously reckless decision to drive a vehicle despite knowing it was in extremely poor condition.
"His offending is only aggravated by the fact he had never had any driving lessons, did not have a valid licence or insurance and his subsequent decision to deny the offences in court.
"All motorists have a duty to ensure their vehicles are well maintained and that they drive in full accordance to the Highway Code. Failure to abide by these most basic fundamentals of good driving can have fatal consequences, as this case sadly shows."
More by this authorEd McConnell