Man who crashed into Fenland ditch killing two women a month after passing his test jailed


A man who had only passed his driving test a month before he was involved in a crash which killed two women in Fenland has been given a 10 month jail sentence.

Ionut-Cosmin Curut (22) of Sutton Road, Spalding, was driving along Puddock Road in Ramsey on the morning of October 13 when he lost control of the Mazda and crashed into a water-filled ditch.

Curut and a front seat passenger managed to escape from the car, but Ilze Dobele, (46), of New Road, Spalding, and Ingrida Dudeniene, (47), of Spring Gardens, Spalding, who were both sitting in the back seat, died in the crash.

Today (Friday) Curut appeared at Peterborough Crown Court where he pleaded guilty to two counts of causing death by careless driving.

Recorder Sandeep Kainth, sentencing, jailed him for 10 months for each offence, to be served concurrently. The court was told because he has been in jail on remand since the crash, he had served the equivalent of an eight month sentence, and would soon be released.

John Farmer, prosecuting, told the court Curut had passed his Romanian driving test a month before the crash, and had only been in the UK for a few days.

He said Curut was driving to work with his colleagues, and the sat-nav directed the car along Puddock Road towards Warboys.

Mr Farmer said: “He steered close to the edge of the road and the car then went over the edge.

“He lost control and the car went into the water filled drain.”

Curut helped the front seat passenger escape from the car, before trying to go back and help the two women - but he was unable to save them, and they drowned in the cold water.

Azza Brown, defending, told the court Curut had been driving below the speed limit at the time.

She said: “His remorse is genuine. It is something that will haunt him for the rest of his life.

“It is absolutely devastating.”

Miss Brown said he had come to the UK to work in the agricultural industry and save for a better life for his family - who live in Romania - and for a wedding for him and his fiancé.

She also told the court a separate accident happened in exactly the same place on the road in December, which saw a 68-year-old woman killed.

She said signs on the road did not indicate there was deep water on the edge of the carriageway - and Curut had never driven the road before.

Recorder Kainth, sentencing said: “You were an inexperienced driver. You would have been aware that the area you were driving in was not a main road.

“Even experienced drivers take care. It is an area that I know well - The speed limit is 60mph, but I wouldn’t do 60 there. I have been driving for 30 years plus - you had only been driving for two weeks. It would have been incumbent on you to take more than extra care.”

Along with the 10 month prison sentence, Curut was ordered to pay a £140 victim surcharge, and was banned from driving for 18 months.