Three years in jail for driver of 85mph Ampthill Road crash after friend paralysed

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Ion Grosu was sentenced to three years in prison

A man who drove as if he was “possessed by the devil” seriously injured two friends when he crashed, leaving one of them paralysed.

Romanian Ion Grosu, 28, was jailed for three years after he lost control of his powerful BMW 530 GT as he sped along Ampthill Road in Bedford at 86 miles per hour.

The care home worker crashed through railings, flipped through the air and rolled down an embankment onto a car park, Luton crown court was told.

Prosecutor Ruth Zentler-Munro said Grosu and his three friends had been socialising in a house and then went out to buy a bottle of rum, which they drank in a car park.

It was just after half past four in the morning on Wednesday 16 September last year when Grosu volunteered to drive them home.

Ms Zentler-Munro said: “The crash happened on Ampthill Road near the hospital, just after the traffics lights. The speed limit is 30 miles per hour.

“He struck the nearside kerb, which caused him to lose control. He went across the carriageway, through the railings and down the embankment. The car was airborne. The drop was 6 metres.”

She said that Grosu and his front seat passenger suffered only minor injuries, but the two rear seat passengers were very seriously injured.

One, a 22-year-old man, suffered a broken spine, multiple rib fractures and a broken shoulder bone. He has lost the use of his legs and is now doubly incontinent.

The other suffered fractures to his head, but has recovered.

The front seat passenger told the police that after pulling out of Morrison’s car park, Grosu accelerated hard. He said he ignored his requests to slow down.

The passenger turned down the music, but Grosu turned it up again. He said he continued to speed “as if possessed by the devil.”

He said the car crashed, flipped twice in the air and rolled over once when it landed.

After the crash, Grosu asked a member of the public, who had stopped, not to call the emergency services, but the man already had. Rather than call for an ambulance himself, Grosu had rung his partner.

The prosecutor said when the police arrived they could smell alcohol. A back calculation gave Grosu an alcohol to blood reading of 182 – the legal limit is 80. He also tested positive for cocaine, giving a reading of 200 when the limit is 50.

He told the police a car coming in the opposite direction had crossed the carriageway, but when an officer examined CCTV from the area no other car was seen.

Grosu, of Foster Hill Road, Bedford, appeared for sentence having pleaded guilty to two charges of causing serious injury by dangerous driving, making false statements to obtain insurance, and driving with excess alcohol and drugs.

He had falsely obtained insurance by not revealing to an insurer that he had other driving convictions, including driving without due care and attention.

Defending, Carl Woolf said: “The two men who were seriously injured were very close friends of Mr Grosu. He will have to live with the fact that they were seriously injured.”

Mr Woolf said Grosu had come to the UK in 2016 to work in the construction industry before obtaining a job in a care home.

He described him as a “hard-working father of two” who was genuinely remorseful.

Judge Lynn Tayton QC told him: “You should not have driven because of the amount of alcohol you had consumed and because of the cocaine you had taken.

“You accelerated on Ampthill Road, which has a speed limit of 30 miles per hour, to 85.”

She said the case was so serious it could only be met with an immediate jail sentence. The judge also banned him from driving for 6 and a half years, saying he must take an extended test before he can regain his licence.

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