A505 death: 'Highly experienced' lorry driver killed dad after driving in the wrong lane

A lorry driver who caused a fatal crash by driving in the wrong lane on the A505 earlier this year has been sentenced. Jose Galdon-Donate, of Categena, Murcia, Spain, was driving a lorry along the A505 near Melbourn when he crashed into an oncoming car, killing the driver. Evidence read out in Cambridge Crown Court on Friday, April 9, showed that Galdon-Donate had started his engine at 3.11am on February 2 after resting overnight, though he remained static until 3.39am, when he continued his journey along the A505.

Galdon-Donate was heading along the A505 toward Cambridge in his Mercedes refrigerated HGV and had only been driving “for around two minutes before crashing headfirst into an oncoming car near Flint Cross”, according to the prosecution. The car, a Mitsubishi Shogun, was being driven by Valise Chiorean, 48, of Old Rope Walk, Haverhill, who sadly died at the scene. Known by friends and family as Chris, he was originally from Romania, but had been living in Suffolk for a number of years and had worked as a lorry driver himself.

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There’s an ‘unsubscribe’ button at the bottom of every newsletter we send out. At the scene, Galdon-Donate provided an account of what happened in the incident, to which there were no eyewitnesses. At 5am, and under caution, he said he had just “taken the wrong lane” and admitted to being in the “opposite one”, adding “it was my fault”.

He received minor injuries and was taken to hospital as a precaution before being arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving. In a police interview, Galdon-Donate said he was a “highly experienced” lorry driver and had driven on English roads for the last 26 years. He claimed he was driving in the middle of the road as it was “smoother to drive”, and when challenged whether he was driving on the wrong side of the road because he thought he was in Europe, he denied this.

However, he admitted his driving was dangerous. A victim impact statement, written by Alex and Camelia Chiorean, Chris’ wife and son, described family life, and a “nice long weekend” just before his death. Alex’s statement spoke of that morning, saying: “I still had some residual happiness from the weekend and felt like the day would be great.

A505 death: 'Highly experienced' lorry driver killed dad after driving in the wrong laneVasile Chiorean, 48, was known as Cristian to those who knew him

“As I finished feeding the dog after getting out of the shower I got a phone call from mum to come and open the front door, which was odd.

“From the moment I opened the door and saw the police car I knew something had gone bad. “At first, I thought my mum had crashed her car into a ditch or something and that is why the police had brought her home, but I was awfully wrong. “As soon as the policeman gave me the news I could not stand any more.

After a few minutes of disbelief and confusion, I bombarded the officer with all the questions that could come to mind. “For about a week from that moment I was in a state of limbo, it felt like being stuck in time with no control of the outcome.” He continued: “The 2nd February marks the day I lost more than a father, I lost an idol, a mentor, a friend, and someone I could speak to about everything and anything.

“He was the best person I have ever known. He had a way to make anything into a joke and make the whole room just burst into laughter, he was kind, often helping neighbours with random work on the street or driving someone so they can buy a new car.” Alex’s statement went on to say: “I honestly hope that in the future I befriend someone that even comes remotely close to how he was.”

Enter your postcode below to learn more about crime near you: He went on to say: “After learning more information about the accident, I have nothing but anger, hatred, disgust, and resentment for the way my father died without a fighting chance and for the other driver, who in a split second took what I had dearest because of a vast amount of negligence and irresponsibility. “I cannot help myself but hope nothing but the worst for the driver that ruined my life.

He concluded by saying: “I am even more destroyed when I think of my future. When I think about bringing a girl home. When I will have a wedding.

When I have a first child and all the other milestone moments in my life. “It is harrowing to think that he will not be there to pat me on the back and give me advice on how to manage, and eventually make me laugh by telling me what silly things he did when he was in my position. “It is awful to think that I will never make a new memory with my dad.”

Chris’ wife Camelia spoke of how he “kissed Pluto goodbye and then kissed me and left” before work that morning. “Every morning he would call me around 6am to make sure I have woken up to get ready for work,” she said. “But this morning was different, he did not call, and I woke up at 7.30.

“As I was late, I quickly got ready and dashed out the door to get to work. As I was driving to work I called him repeatedly to tell him off, but no one picked up.

“The fourth time I called someone unfamiliar picked up and I thought it was a joke since it was not out of the ordinary for my husband to play pranks like these. “The officer explained the situation and told me that my husband is on the way to the hospital and that I had to go meet one of his colleagues at the Cambridge Park and Ride car park so he can take me to A&E to see him.”

Camelia explained how she met the officer at the Park and Ride and was “asking a lot of questions about the state” that he was in. “But after a short pause the officer informed me that my dear husband passed away at the scene of an accident,” she said. “Words cannot describe what I felt in that moment and the whole situation feels like a nightmare that I am waiting to wake up from,” said Camelia.

“In a split second, I found out that my soulmate, husband of 23 years and the father to my child had been killed on his way to work. “In the 23 years of our marriage, we had a great life, full of achievements and happiness at first just us two and a son, Ionut, I had from a previous relationship, but we were later joined by my second son, Alex. “For me, he was my boyfriend, soulmate and my best friend.

He was the person who taught me to love life and be happy when I accomplished even the smallest things, he was my rock during tough times. “He had a talent to keep calm and push through no matter how hard of a situation he was in. “My husband was a great man, he was calm and always tried to understand anyone, no matter their position.

A505 death: 'Highly experienced' lorry driver killed dad after driving in the wrong laneCambridgeshire Police attending a road traffic collision (stock image)

“I know no one deserves to die like this, more so than anybody he did not deserve this. He was loved by everyone and no one can believe what happened to him and the way that he died, in the cold harsh night.” She concluded by saying: “I do not think that more words can be used to describe the way I feel, I feel empty without him and it feels like I am living in the dark, blind to the rest of the world.

“I hope that he can be the light we need to guide us out of this hardship.” Galdon-Donate pleaded guilty to the offence at Cambridge Crown Court on March 3, before being sentenced on April 9 at the same court. Sentencing him, Judge Farrell QC said: “It is a single carriageway road, what you did was to drive on the wrong side of that road.

“It is difficult to say for how long you did, but it was plainly a seriously dangerous manoeuvre caused by you acting as if you were on the continent rather than in this country. “You should, with your 26 years experience as an HGV driver, have not done so. “It had catastrophic consequences in that you drove head-on into Mr Chiorean. causing his death.

“To your credit, you admitted that it was your fault at the scene and followed that by pleading guilty at the first realistic opportunity.”

Judge Farrell went on to say there was nothing he could do to “turn the clock back” or bring back Mr Chiorean, and that “no sentence of a criminal court can ever reflect the loss of a human’s life”.

Galdon-Donate was sentenced to two years in prison and disqualified from driving for a total of four years.