Lorry driver jailed for causing fatal A505 crash
- Credit: Cambs police
A lorry driver who killed a man after travelling in the wrong lane near Royston has been jailed.
Jose Galdon-Donate, of Categena, Murcia, Spain, collided head on with another car on the A505 shortly after 3am on February 2.
The 55-year-old had parked in a layby towards Royston on his daily rest period just before 3pm the previous day.
He started work the following morning and began driving his Mercedes refrigerated HGV towards Cambridge, but on the wrong side of the road.
It was a matter of minutes before Galdon-Donate collided with a Mitsubishi Shogun travelling in the correct lane near Flint Cross.
The driver, Vasile Chiorean, 48, of Old Rope Walk, Haverhill - who was known as Christian to family and friends - sadly died at the scene.
His family issued a tribute describing him as "a loving father, husband and son with an infectious laugh and smile".
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They added: "There wasn't a room that he couldn't cheer up and I don't think anyone could say they've had a bad first impression of him.
"So many people will miss and cherish him through the many great memories. Rest in peace Christian."
At the scene of the crash, Galdon-Donate provided an account under caution to police at 5am, in which he said he had just "taken the wrong lane", and admitted being "in the opposite one", adding "it was my fault".
He received minor injuries in the collision and was taken to hospital as a precaution, before being arrested for causing death by dangerous driving.
When interviewed, Galdon-Donate said he was a "highly experienced" lorry driver and had driven on English roads for the past 26 years.
He claimed he had driven in the middle of the road as it was "smoother to drive", and when challenged denied that he was driving on the wrong side of the road because he thought he was in Europe. However he admitted his driving was dangerous.
Galdon-Donate pleaded guilty at Cambridge Crown Court on March 3, and was sentenced on Friday, April 9 to two years in prison, and disqualified from driving for four years.
Sgt Mark Dollard, of the Beds, Cambs and Herts Road Policing Unit, said: "Galdon-Donate had entered the country to deliver goods but found himself on the wrong side of the road, and this tragically led to the fatal collision which took just minutes to take place after he began driving that morning.
“To drive on the wrong side of the road is clearly dangerous and this case should serve as a lesson to all. I would urge motorists to pay attention to their surroundings, particularly when on unfamiliar roads or in an unfamiliar area.”