Wrong way motorway driver admits crash charges after Chorley man Mark Downham died in M1 collision

A motorist involved in a crash that killed Chorley man Mark Downham has admitted a charge of causing death by dangerous driving.

By The Newsroom
Wednesday, 12th September 2018, 8:59 am
Updated Wednesday, 12th September 2018, 12:42 pm
Adrian Radu (Photo: Nottinghamshire Police/PA Wire)
Adrian Radu (Photo: Nottinghamshire Police/PA Wire)

Romanian national Adrian Radu, of Alfreton Road, Nottingham, admitted a charge of causing death by dangerous crash after being involved in a fatal crash after driving the wrong way on the M1 motorway.

He pleaded guilty to the charge when he appeared at Nottingham Crown Court yesterday.

The 28-year-old failed a roadside breath-test and had previously pleaded guilty to charges of dangerous driving, driving while disqualified driving while over the prescribed limit and driving without insurance.

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Officers were called to a collision involving a car driven by Radu, a van and a lorry which happened on the M1 southbound, about two kilometres after junction 27 with the A608, at about 5.40am on Saturday, March 24.

The back seat passenger in the van, 48-year-old Mark Downham, from Chorley, Lancashire, was taken to hospital but died from his injuries two days later.

The court heard how Radu, originally from Romania, was seen by other motorists driving a Vauxhall Astra on the M1 southbound in an erratic and dangerous manner prior to the collision, often stopping for no apparent reason.

Dash cam footage of the crash showed Radu’s Astra travelling ahead of the lorry in lane two.

Suddenly the car broke sharply and commenced a u-turn manoeuvre which caused another vehicle travelling in the same lane to take evasive action and swerve into lane three to avoid colliding with it.

Due to the last-minute swerving of this vehicle the van driver who was travelling behind in lane two was unable to avoid colliding with the back of Radu’s Astra. The van then hit the offside of the lorry.

Following the crash Radu failed to stop at the scene and instead drove northbound in lane four of the southbound carriageway of the M1, for approximately 550m before eventually coming to a stop.

Radu failed a roadside breath test and was arrested.

He also subsequently failed the intoxilyser procedure at the police station providing a reading of 71micrograms (twice the legal limit).

Sentencing will take place on Thursday (September 13).