Triple fatal accident in Salceda: Three witnesses saw the…

Source: Triple fatal accident in Salceda: Three witnesses saw the…

Found on: 2023-01-18 05:10:55

“He was drunk, he entered the premises and, as soon as he sat down in a chair, he fell out of it.” “Was drunk. He was staggering, fell to the ground when he was leaning on a railing and had a little trouble getting up.But in the end he did it.” “He was talking to himself, he bumped into the table football and slapped it, as if in rage.” “He was walking to the sides, he was not unconscious, he was drunkshe went to talk to my sister and I told her to leave her alone, that she was a minor, and that if she didn’t know how to behave, please go away and leave, just like that.”

These are the testimonies of the owner of a bar, a client and the waitress of some of the hospitality establishments in the Salceda de Caselas area about the state that Alfredo LR presented on the afternoon of March 19, 2021, hours before that, around 10 p.m., his car invaded the opposite lane of traffic and crashed at high speed (128 kilometers per hour) against the Citroën C-4 in which María Luisa Gondell Soliño and her two children, Daniela and Beltrán were traveling , 13 and 6 years old respectively. Her mother and the two minors died.

Alfredo LR was seriously injured and remained in a coma for a week. The breathalyzer test that was performed on a blood test was positive, 2.49 grams of alcohol, well above the allowed. A test that was carried out, as was verified yesterday in the trial, guaranteeing the entire chain of custody.

The medical staff of Álvaro Cunqueiro guaranteed the chain of custody of the blood test carried out on the defendant who tested positive for alcohol

Alfredo sat yesterday in the dock of the accused of the Audiencia de Pontevedra accused of three homicides due to recklessness. The Prosecutor’s Office ratified his request for five years in prison, a sentence that for the family of the three victims is clearly insufficient and that rises to 9 years in prison. The defense requests free acquittal or, alternatively, that he be sentenced to minimum sentences applying various exemptions or mitigations, including drunkenness.

Yesterday, at the trial, Alfredo’s testimony did not help to shed light on how the tragic accident occurred. He limited himself to repeatedly answering that he does not remember. He also does not assume that he was under the influence of alcohol. He insists that he only had one drink, at most two. “I don’t remember anything, practically”. He affirms that he left the first bar in which he was almost all that afternoon, the Charangos, in Salceda. “I drank a gin and tonic and I only know that I was leaving the bar with a colleague to go to another place and from then on I don’t remember anything.” “I couldn’t say what happened, if he did me wrong, if he gave me a downturn, I don’t know, you can keep asking but I’m going to tell you the same thing, I don’t remember,” she explained to the prosecutor. He does not even say he remembers taking the car before the accident: “I never drink and if I do I don’t take it,” she told the court.

With the three occupants of the opposite vehicle dead, that memory gap was covered by the Traffic Civil Guard agents and the specialists from the Accident Reconstruction Team (ERAT) who investigated the accident. For them there is no doubt. The cause of the accident was the Renault Megane that Alfredo LR was driving, at excessive speed and under the influence of alcoholand that collided with the C-4 in which María Luisa and her two children were traveling in their lane correctly, at an adequate speed and with the seat belts and the child restraint system in use by the three victims deadly.

In fact, ERAT experts concluded that the woman, at the last moment, tried to carry out an “evasive maneuver” when she found the Renault Megane driving in the opposite lane. He tried to avoid it by turning left, that is, turning into the opposite lane, but it was impossible, since they calculated that he barely had a second of reaction before impact.

The defenses tried to introduce the possibility that the C-4 was stepping on the continuous line moments before the incident. The agents rejected it, explaining that the situation of the car at the last moment of the impact was due to this evasive maneuver that the woman tried without success. They also pointed out that it was the escape route with the most space given that the car the defendant was driving was so diverted into the opposite lane that it hit the C-4 frontally on the passenger side, hence the driver had tried to divert your car to the left and not to the shoulder.

They consider that from the regulatory and traffic point of view, there is nothing to reproach the deceased driver for, nor could more be demanded of her to avoid the accident.

The Civil Guard also carried out its own reconstruction of the previous hours of the defendant on the afternoon of the accident. The testimonies collected speak of Alfredo “quite influenced” by the intake of alcohol. Only the owner of the first bar he went to and the friend who accompanied him in this first place and in a second they assure that they saw him normal after consuming two gin and tonics and a beer. The trial will end today with the reading of the reports of the parties.

“I have lost everything, my wife, my children, my hope of living”

The private prosecution summoned the direct relatives of the three deceased in the accident to testify as witnesses. The objective is to show the court the irreparable damage caused as a result of that accident that took the lives of María Luisa, 39, and her two children, aged 13 and 6. The husband and father of the deceased, Jesús Francos, was the first to appear. He explained the notable moral and economic damages that he suffered as a result of the accident. The depressive state that he suffered forced him to leave Spain due to the “fear” of having to talk about what happened with someone he knew. He was not allowed to read the media, nor to ever talk about the accident: “I’m not able”. “I have lost everything, I have lost my life, my wife, my children,” he explained to the court, “I have lost my illusion of living”he assured. His wife was the supporter of the three companies linked to the bakery business of which he already represented the fourth generational step in his family. The two had managed to build a successful business, especially thanks to the encouragement of María Luisa. The state of depression in which Jesús Francos entered after what happened led him to “undersell” these businesses, as explained by a tax advisor at the trial. The intention was to “sell quickly”, before the situation that Jesús was going through after the loss of his wife and children in this accident made him take the “company to the bottom”. “My wife and I were missing, the most important thing,” he said. At the time of the accident, both were also building a large house so that they could move out of the flat where they lived and be able to receive the whole family there. That house now stands empty. It is like a “mausoleum” in which each room reminds the family of the three deceased. A house that was a “very personal” project of María Luisa and that was almost finished when she passed away, but that neither she nor her two children were able to brand new.

“This person hasn’t said sorry yet, they just want to get rid of it”

María Luisa’s father and brothers also explained the devastating consequences for a family of an event like this. His brother, Ricardo Gondell, at the end of the first session of the trial, reiterated his opinion that the request for five years made by the Prosecutor’s Office still seems insufficient to him: “We have been fearing a small sentence for a year that will even increase our situation of rage and impotence ”. “We knew that the Prosecutor’s Office was asking for five years in prison, which we find laughable with three deaths. Three deaths are many in a case due to alcohol, with 2.49 in blood, ”she reproached. Ricardo Gondell assured that there are similar cases in Spain with sentences from the Supreme Court with a single deceased in which the sentences were raised to 10 years or even more. They also do not perceive regret in the defendant: “We have not heard at any time a sorry from this man and that destroys us, he does not assume anything and just wants to get rid of it.”

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