Taxi driver killed in crash was more than three times over drink drive limit, inquest hears
PUBLISHED: 14:23 17 July 2020 | UPDATED: 14:40 17 July 2020
A taxi driver who died after crashing into a tree was not wearing a seatbelt and was more three times the legal drink drive limit, an inquest has heard.
Dumitru Togoe, 43, of Chapel Road, Lingwood, was killed on Blofield Road on Saturday, January 18.
He was driving a silver Mercedes E300 and was pronounced dead at the scene. The road was closed for more than five hours.
An inquest into Mr Togoe’s death was held at Norfolk Coroner’s Court in Norwich on Friday.
It heard Mr Togoe was born in Romania and worked as a taxi driver for several firms including Courtesy, ABC and Gold Star Taxis.
He had been at bars on Prince of Wales Road in Norwich prior to the crash, the inquest heard.
In a statement, a student from the University of East Anglia said Mr Togoe struck up a conversation with him and his friend, a teacher, at a bar.
The three then went to several other bars, where Mr Togoe drunk beer, before Mr Togoe asked for a lift home as the teacher was not drinking alcohol, the statement added.
He was described as “friendly, kind and generous” and a man “who laughed a lot” by the teacher in a statement.
The statement said they dropped Mr Togoe home in Lingwood and, shortly after, they saw a Mercedes drive off at a “crazy” speed.
The court heard the two friends on their route back home saw the Mercedes had crashed and contacted emergency services.
Area coroner Yvonne Blake said according to a toxicology report, Mr Togoe was three and quarter times over the legal drink driving limit.
Mr Togoe was also not wearing a seat belt, the inquest heard.
In a statement his wife said Mr Togoe rarely drunk alcohol and that he always wore a seatbelt when she was in the car.
Concluding the inquest, Ms Blake said: “Mr Togoe died as a result of multiple injuries following a road traffic collision. I extend my condolences to his wife, family and friends.”
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