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August 17, 2022

Ex Cluj Prefect detained on manslaughter charges

The official says he regrets the accident, willing to ‘answer in front of the law.’

Former Cluj Prefect Calin Platon was detained for 24 hours after being heard by the traffic police yesterday in relation to a car accident he caused, killing a three-month baby and severely injuring his mother. Platon was to be taken to before a court with the proposal to be remanded, on charges of manslaughter, Realitatea.net reported.

After being interviewed by police for more than two hours and a half, he was taken to the Cluj Judge Hall Prosecutor’s Office to be heard by prosecutors as well, Mediafax said.

On his way to the Prosecutor’s Office, Platon told reporters that he deeply regretted “this terrible tragedy and I will answer in front of the law.” He also said that when the accident occurred, he was “blinded by sunlight” and saw the two victims on the pedestrian crossing in front of him when it was too late to hit the brakes. Platon added that he wasn’t speeding at the time.

A spokesperson for the Cluj County Police, Gina Pop, told Mediafax that the former prefect is also facing charges of causing severe bodily harm and driving illegally, since his driver’s licence was suspended when the accident occurred on Friday evening. Platon, who is currently a government inspector, hit a woman and her three-month baby, who was in a pram, on a pedestrian crossing in Cluj, because he did not give them right of way. Both the woman and her child were taken to hospital in severe condition. The child, who had suffered intracranial haematoma, haemorrhage, a double parietal-temporal fracture and a fractured spleen, underwent surgery at the Cluj-Napoca Neurosurgery Clinic on Saturday, but he died later on. Immediately after surgery, doctors warned that the baby’s chances to survive were practically inexistent.

The mother, a 32-year-old woman, was also in critical condition, having sustained a leg fracture and a pelvis contusion. She was set to undergo surgery at the Orthopaedics and Traumatology Clinic later yesterday.

Platon’s driving licence had been suspended for 90 days earlier this month on account of speeding. According to police sources quoted by Mediafax, he had not had any alcohol before driving on Friday evening. The former prefect risks being sentenced to seven years in jail plus an additional five, if he is found guilty of the charges levelled against him.

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