A Romanian motorist who lost control of her car and killed a 6-year-old child and a 21-year-old has blamed the accident on “sneezing.”
Police detained the woman, 57, late Monday for 24 hours as part of a manslaughter investigation saying she had driven under the influence.
A court later ruled she could be released. She was put under judicial control meaning she has to report to police if she plans to leave her home for any length of time.
The accident which happened on Saturday afternoon in Bucharest angered Romanians partly due to the young age of the victims.
It has been headline news since then in the East European country which had more traffic deaths than any other country in the European Union in 2019, recording 1,800 fatalities, followed closely by Bulgaria.
The unnamed woman previously said that she had taken the wheel as her husband, who was sitting in the passenger’s seat, had consumed alcohol.
She reportedly told police that she rarely drives and wasn’t used to driving an automatic car, which has an acceleration pedal and the brake, instead of the usual three pedals.
Passers-by pulled the couple out of the car after the crash and beat them. Police took her for questioning Saturday, but then released her, generating more public anger.
The results of an alcohol test reported Monday said that three hours after the accident she had 0.67 g/l in her blood. She was detained late Monday.
„When I got to the end of the street where I needed to take a right, I had s sneezing fit, I sneezed 3-4 times and I wanted to brake but I hit the wrong pedal and I panicked , and I didn’t know what to do,” she was quoted as saying by Antena 3.
“The car hit the curb and hit people and then went into a fence. The airbags deployed and people dragged us out of the car and began to beat us.”