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Two Gravesend men died after an Audi ploughed into a Citroen taxi at 60mph in Thames Way, Northfleet


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An inquest heard how two men died in head-on car crash.

Nicu Jarcau, 21, and Constantin-Fildes Caldararu, 36, were travelling along Thames Way, Northfleet, on September 17, before Mr Jarcau lost control of their silver Audi and collided with a black Citroen taxi.

The scene of the accident
The scene of the accident

An inquest held today at County Hall, Maidstone, heard how Mr Jarcau was driving at about 60mph as he negotiated a bend on the road, which has a 40mph speed limit.

After losing control of the vehicle, the ex-block paver tried to rectify his mistake, which caused the car to over-steer and drift onto the other side of the road, colliding with the taxi.

Mr Jarcau was taken to King's College in London, where he later died. Mr Caldararu, the passenger of the Audi, died at the scene.

Coroner Alan Blunsden heard evidence from PC Helen Waghorn, a forensic collision investigator, PC Dawn Smith and the driver of the taxi.

Evidence from the cab driver read: "I had been driving for about 29 years, and as a taxi driver for about 26 or 27 years.

County Hall, Maidstone (44164053)
County Hall, Maidstone (44164053)

"On the night of the collision, I was working and had just picked up a passenger from Ebbsfleet Train Station.

"I was driving along Thames Way and as I did so I could see a car, about 100 yards in front of me, on the other side of the road.

"When I first saw the other car, it was on the other side of the road, but then it came onto my side of the road, straight towards me.

"I didn't see any reason for it to move over, there were no animals or anything that would make him move over.

"Afterwards I got out of the car, I don't remember anything. I just remember lots of police and paramedics.

"I have never had crash or even a ticket..."

"This whole thing has really upset me - before this, I have never had crash or even a ticket. This has really shocked me."

He was taken to hospital for precautionary checks, but did not need any further treatment. His passenger was in a critical condition but has since made a recovery.

PC Helen Waghorn, who attended the scene, described how both cars were damaged beyond repair following the collision.

In relation to the Audi, she said: "The speedometer was frozen on 60mph. It can be accepted that the speed of the Audi at the time of collision was around 60 mph.

"Both seatbelts were locked and retracted – indicating that none of the belts were in use at the time of the collision."

The road was closed while police cleared the scene following the fatal incident
The road was closed while police cleared the scene following the fatal incident

PC Waghorn went on to describe how there were no contributory factors which could have led to the crash from the weather, the road or the vehicle.

She also described how even though the bend wasn't sharp, it is likely Mr Jarcau had already lost control of the vehicle before entering the turn.

In his closing statement, Mr Blunsden said: "I am unable to say what caused the Audi to depart from its carriageway to cross the central reservation and hit the Citroen.

"The evidence provided shows that the Audi was travelling at 60 miles per hour on the incorrect side of the road at the time of the impact.

"It was probably as a result of loss of control on the bend, which directly led to the collision, which in itself led to the very sad deaths of Mr Jarcau and the passenger."

He concluded that the two Romanian nationals, who both lived in Harmer Street, Gravesend, died due to the road traffic collision.

The medical cause of death for the two men was given as multiple fractures, internal organ injuries and severe trauma as a result of the crash.

A toxicology report revealed that Mr Jarcau was not over the drink-drive limit, and there was no evidence to suggest any drugs had been taken.

For more information on how we can report on inquests, click here.

Read more: All the latest news from Gravesend

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