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Grandmother killed at Waterloo Road crossing during visit from Romania died in ‘tragic accident’

Gabriela Miora Ciulcu, 51, who died after she was hit by a van in Waterloo Road, Romford, last month Gabriela Miora Ciulcu, 51, who died after she was hit by a van in Waterloo Road, Romford, last month

Friday, June 20, 2014
2:06 PM

Dedicated grandmother Gabriela Mioara Ciulcu ‘did not look’ when she was killed after stepping out at a crossing in Romford, an inquest has heard.

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Mrs Ciulcu was killed on September 18 during a visit from Romania to see her daughter Raluca and baby granddaughter Eva.

But tragedy struck when the 51-year-old was hit by a Ford transit van at a crossing on Waterloo Road while walking her dog at 7.30am.

At an inquest today (Friday June 20) at Walthamstow Coroner’s Court, her family heard she sustained multiple injuries, with assistant coroner Angela Hodes concluding her death was accidental.

The inquest heard the driver of the van, who died in November, was being treated for cancer at the time of the accident.

In a statement read to the court by Ms Hodes, eyewitness Adam Cunnew, who was driving behind the van, said: “Standing at the crossing I could see a glimpse of someone holding a dog.

“In a split second, this person stepped right out in the road in front of the van.

“He [the driver] had no chance to brake.”

The inquest heard the van had tried to swerve away from Mrs Ciulcu, but she was hit by the wing-mirror.

Another statement, from witness Darrell Myers, said the drivers’ light had been green.

“[Mrs Ciulcu] did not look left or right,” he said.

“It all happened very quickly.

“The van stopped straight away.”

Mr Cunnew called an ambulance, and paramedics treated Mrs Ciulcu at the scene for severe head injuries and lacerations.

After being made comfortable she was taken to Queen’s Hospital, but suffered a cardiac arrest and died.

A letter from Mrs Ciulcu’s sister Anca Al Higawi was read out to court by the coroner, describing her as a “very kind person” who had worked hard her whole life to support her family.

“She was always there if you needed her advice,” said the letter.

“She was full of life.”

The inquest heard Mrs Ciulcu had been “devastated” when daughter Raluca had moved to England in 2009 with her husband.

In September 2012 she had visited Raluca, before returning a year later for what was her second visit.

Concluding the inquest, Ms Hodes said Mrs Ciulca’s death had been a “tragic accident”.

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