October 3rd 2018 was the fateful night when Surinderjit Kaur Saund was struck by a speeding vehicle. The uninsured Vrabian Antonescu struck Surinderjit Kaur on Waterloo Road, Smethwick. Wolverhampton Crown Court was told Mrs Saund was struck after she left her local Smethwick Gurdwara.
The court was told details of the night:
- Romanian-born Antonescu was doing 40mph in a 30 limit
- The driver mate the fatal mistake of trying to overtake a white Toyota taxi which had slowed to 17mph.
- The cab driver may have been looking for a parking space before unexpectedly moving to the right
- The Mercedes clipped the side of the taxi with such force it sent the cab veering out of control into the stationary car that Mrs Saund was about to get in
- This caused her immediate death from head injuries.
- Driver Antonescu was driving his brothers Mercedes he was not insured on that car
- Antonescu stopped A short distance away before driving off without alerting the emergency services.
- He parked the damaged vehicle in a side road and walked to his brother’s home in nearby Richmond Street,
- He returned to the car with friends to change a damaged tyre.
- He was standing by the car when arrested by police around an hour after the smash.
The 68-year-old, who lived in nearby Winson Green, had just collected a handbag she had accidentally left behind at the Gurdwara Nanaksar where she worshipped three times a day, explained Mr Patrick Sullivan, prosecuting.
‘Moment of madness’
Mr Daren Samar, defending Antonescu, who was of previous good character, said the error came in a “moment of madness” that lasted up to nine seconds.
He claimed the defendant left the scene because he panicked and sensed “justifiable animosity” when onlookers started taking photos of the car and its occupants.
Antonescu, whose home address is now Yateley Crescent, Great Barr, pleaded guilty to causing death by dangerous driving and being uninsured.
He was jailed and banned for driving for three years on release by Judge Simon Ward who said: “You were driving much too fast. It was dark in a busy area with parked cars on both sides of the road.
“You did not expect him to move to the offside and he may have had good reason why he did that.”
Mr Gurdial Singh Saund, a father of two who had been happily married to the victim for 45 years, said: “Life spent in her company was always filled with laughter. Her death devastated the family.”