Drunk driver who caused the death of a father of four has been jailed for 11 years 

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A drunk driver who u-turned on a motorway, killing a father-of-four, has been jailed for 11 years. 

Adrian Radu caused the death of Mark Downham, when he performed the manoeuvre in the middle lane of the M1, in March this year.

The 28-year-old Romanian national from Nottingham was also handed a 13-and-a-half year driving ban, after pleading guilty to causing death by dangerous driving.   

Adrian Radu (pictured) has been jailed for 11 years 

Adrian Radu (pictured) has been jailed for 11 years 

Adrian Radu (pictured) has been jailed for 11 years 

A judge at Nottingham Crown Court said Radu – who was found with a bottle of whisky in his jacket – had shown a reckless disregard for the safety of other motorists before his ‘disgraceful’ decision to drive away from the scene towards oncoming traffic.

Shocking dash-cam footage shows how Radu was speeding along the carriageway, just moments before the fatal smash.

His blue Vauxhall Astra can be seen braking sharply before making a u-turn on the southbound carriageway, going from the middle lane and turning to face the wrong direction into the over-taking lane.

The incident happened just over a mile after junction 27 for Hucknall, Nottinghamshire.

Van driver, Neil Rowe, who was travelling behind was unable to avoid smashing into him and the Eddie Stobart lorry he was overtaking.

Mark Downham, 48, was sleeping on the backseat of the van after being picked up from his home in Chorley, Lancashire.

He was rushed to hospital after the crash but died two days later as a result of catastrophic head injuries.

A car brakes suddenly as it sees Radu about to attempt to turn around - the car manages to swerve and avoid hitting him

A car brakes suddenly as it sees Radu about to attempt to turn around - the car manages to swerve and avoid hitting him

A car brakes suddenly as it sees Radu about to attempt to turn around – the car manages to swerve and avoid hitting him

Radu's Astra can be seen performing the u-turn into the fast overtaking lane (right) as the car in front managed to squeeze past 

Radu's Astra can be seen performing the u-turn into the fast overtaking lane (right) as the car in front managed to squeeze past 

Radu’s Astra can be seen performing the u-turn into the fast overtaking lane (right) as the car in front managed to squeeze past 

Mark Downham was killed by a drunk driver who performed a dangerous u-turn on the M1 and was later found with a bottle of whisky

Mark Downham was killed by a drunk driver who performed a dangerous u-turn on the M1 and was later found with a bottle of whisky

Mark Downham was killed by a drunk driver who performed a dangerous u-turn on the M1 and was later found with a bottle of whisky

Following the crash Radu continued to drive the wrong way down in the fast lane for approximately 550 metres before eventually coming to a stop. 

Police attended the scene and Radu was arrested after being found with a bottle of Jack Daniel’s whisky in his pocket and failing a roadside breath test.

Radu was twice over the drink drive limit two-and-a-half hours after the crash, providing a reading of 71 micrograms of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath, while the legal limit is 35.

Radu previously admitted dangerous driving, driving while disqualified, driving while over the prescribed limit and driving without insurance.

During the trial on Tuesday at Nottingham Crown Court, he was found guilty of causing death by dangerous driving and Judge Gregory Dickinson QC warned Radu that he faced the ‘inevitable outcome’ of a lengthy prison sentence.  

Radu continues the turn before (off camera) a van smashes into the car, killing a father-of-four sleeping on the back seat

Radu continues the turn before (off camera) a van smashes into the car, killing a father-of-four sleeping on the back seat

Radu continues the turn before (off camera) a van smashes into the car, killing a father-of-four sleeping on the back seat

Radu completes the move before a car hits him, and then a lorry, resulting in fatality 

Radu completes the move before a car hits him, and then a lorry, resulting in fatality 

Radu completes the move before a car hits him, and then a lorry, resulting in fatality 




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