US Embassy Says Attache Involved In Car Accident To Return To Romania ShortlyPublish date: 09-01-2008
Kevin Sandlin, the attache of the U.S. Embassy to Bucharest involved in a car accident in Bucharest, continues to work for the embassy and will return to the country shortly, the embassy press bureau told Mediafax Tuesday.
The U.S. Embassy is still cooperation with Romanian authorities investigating the case.
The embassy also said the official vehicle Sandlin was driving on December 11, when he injured a woman, was insured and the Embassy is helping ease contact between the victim and her family and the insurance company.
The accident victim, Mirela Basilescu, 44, underwent surgery and was committed to hospital for a month.
Eyewitnesses said the US driver was driving very fast and had entered the opposite lane at the time of the accident. Witnesses also said the driver smelled of alcohol.
The US national refused to be tested for alcohol on the spot and also refused to go to the hospital.
Sandlin left Romania on Monday, according to media reports. As he benefits from diplomatic immunity, the border police could not prevent him from leaving the country.
Under criminal procedure, Romanian authorities may investigate in the absence of the defendant and the decision in the case is communicated to American authorities at the end of the investigation.
If Sandlin does not return to Romania, Romanian authorities are to transfer procedures to the U.S. competent authorities, after the investigation.
In December 2004, another U.S. Embassy employee caused a car accident that killed bass player Teo Peter.
The driver, Christopher R. Vangoethem, who had been drinking and had fled the scene, was court-martialed in the States and cleared of involuntary manslaughter charges, and was let off with a warning for false statements and obstruction of justice.
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