Former Romanian off-road champion Adrian Cernea died Saturday after his car was swept away by flood waters during a competition. He was 40.
The interior ministry announced it had started a manslaughter inquiry into his death on Sunday.
The Romanian Sports Motoring Federation said Adrian Cernea and co-pilot Alex Tache were driving across a valley on Saturday when their vehicle was pulled into the waters near Slanic Moldova, in eastern Romania. Their car was swept away.
The co-pilot managed to escape by grabbing on to a log. He was later pulled to safety by rescuers.
But Adrian Cernea was trapped in the car which overturned in the fast-flowing water, according to a statement by the National Off Road Committee.
On Sunday, Interior Minister Lucian Bode said manslaughter inquiry had been opened. The minister said he didn’t understand why the organizers hadn’t suspended the competition after torrential rain was forecast.
„I am puzzled by the fact that the competition was not stopped by to the organizers, although there were severe weather warnings”,the minister said Sunday during a video conference with the prefects.
The competition was stopped as emergency team intervened and tried to rescue Mr Cernea. His body was found a few hundred yards away from where it had fallen into the water, Agerpres news agency said.
„Following this tragedy…. a criminal case has been opened for manslaughter. It is very important that citizens heed weather warnings such as the ones sent on Ro-Alert, to avoid situations where there could be loss of life.”
„I urge the authorities in the areas where public events are scheduled… to listen to weather forecasts and carefully weigh up the situation. (They shouldn’t) risk people’s lives, and rather postpone these events, „Mr Bode said.
The Romanian Sports Motoring Federation met on Saturday and said it had launched an inquiry to determine in what circumstances the tragedy occurred.