Justice For Family Of Couple Killed In Horrific New Year’s Day Smash
The son and daughter of a retired couple killed in a horrific New Year's Day car crash is pleading with road users to stick to speed limits after today (25th May) seeing his parents’ killer jailed and told he will be deported.
Clive and his sister Lindsay made their appeal after the trial at Leeds Crown Court which saw Eduard Mereohra, 26, of Burley, Leeds, sentenced to nine years in prison and deportation to his native Moldova after admitting two counts of death by dangerous driving for his role in the high-speed smash earlier this year.
Retired electrician David Metcalf, 68, and his wife Dorothy, 65, of Cookridge, were heading towards Leeds along the A647 Stanningley bypass when their Fiat Punto was hit by Mereohra’s speeding Volvo C70, causing their car to flip over several times and fly off the road.
The sheer force of the collision caused David to be thrown from the car, landing on a grass verge at the side of the road. Dorothy, who had been sat in the front of the car alongside David, had her seat thrown towards the back of the vehicle as it overturned.
David suffered multiple injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene. Due to the severity of David’s injuries, formal identification had to be established by DNA testing. Dorothy was taken to Leeds General Infirmary by the Yorkshire Air Ambulance but later died of severe head and neck injuries.
Deborah Martin, a Legal Executive in the Road Traffic Accident Team at Irwin Mitchell’s Sheffield office who represents the Metcalf family, said: “This is an extremely tragic accident that led to the deaths of a much-loved couple. Eduard Mereohra’s reckless behaviour has torn this family apart by stealing David and Dorothy from their two children and grandchildren.
“It is a relief for the Metcalf family that Eduard has been jailed for nine years and will return to his native Moldova once his sentence is served.
“This is a tragic loss and reminds everyone who takes to the roads in Britain that they must remember they have a responsibility to drive safely, and those who don’t must appreciate that they are capable of tearing lives apart.”
In respect of their ordeal, Clive and Lindsay said: “Firstly, we would again like to thank the emergency services who attended the incident, and the police for their diligent work in bringing about this sentence today.
“We would also like to thank those members of the public who stopped to help our parents. Unfortunately, the accident was so severe that there was nothing they could do to save them. What those people saw that day will no doubt live with them for the rest of their lives – more lives affected by the selfish actions of one person.
“No sentence will ever be long enough for the person who changed our lives forever on New Year’s Day 2012, when he took away our parents and our children’s grandparents, through his thoughtless, dangerous and illegal actions.
“We have been told that he is sorry, but we simply cannot accept that as a genuine apology.
“Having been deported from the UK once before he chose to return to this country illegally; he chose to drink all night and get behind the wheel of his car; he chose to drive erratically and at extremely high speed, weaving in and out of traffic; he chose to flee the scene of this horrific incident and when questioned by the police, denied being the driver of the vehicle and refused to be tested for alcohol.
“Given those circumstances, we think the only thing he is sorry about is that he was caught.
“Mum and Dad were hardworking, honest taxpayers who had planned responsibly for their retirement and should have had 20-plus more years to enjoy together.
“We were a very close family and we are lost without them. This incident has shocked the community and devastated our family. We are still struggling to come to terms with our loss.
“On top of our grief, we also have a number of questions that we need the Government and the immigration authorities to answer about how Mereohra was able to exist in the UK without detection, especially after his previous deportation.
“While we hold Mereohra responsible for his actions, we feel that our beloved Mum and Dad would still be alive today if the system had not failed by allowing him to be at liberty in the UK.”