M25 industrial death tribute

THE ROMANIAN worker who died in a tragic industrial accident has been remembered as an “inspirational” and “lovely bloke”.

Mihai Hondru, 39, of Poplar Way, Ilford, was pronounced dead at the scene of the M25 widening works site near junction 29 at Upminster after he was struck by a reversing construction vehicle.

The workman, who was an employee of one of the sub-contractors carrying out work for Skanska Balfour Beatty, died at the site near Codham Hall Farm on Wednesday October 20 shortly before 10am.

Ian Stewart, a family friend from Watford who has been appointed power of attorney by Mr Hondru’s non-English speaking relatives in his hometown of Husi, in north-east Romania, said Mr Hondru’s mother Paulina, 78, was “absolutely devastated”.

Mr Stewart said: “He was rescued from a Romanian orphanage as a baby close to death in 1971.”

“But it looks like death was looking for him. What’s the odds of being run over by a bulldozer?”

He said Mr Hondru was “buried six inches solid into the ground” by the machine.

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“I feel really terrible for the guy he was such a lovely bloke.”

The 5ft 4ins-tall banksman came to England to work to send home money to his mother who was dependent on him.

But now the family could have to wait some time before even holding his funeral.

Two post mortems are believed to have been carried out and an inquest soon to be opened and adjourned but the body has not yet been released from the morgue because the investigation into the incident is not yet complete.

Mr Stewart said: “His poor mum’s waiting for his body to go home. The whole town is in black. Everyone knows everyone there.”

He added: “He was inspirational; such an outstanding person. He used to do nothing but good. He would send toys home for children on a regular basis.”

“Was regarded by every one that met him socially and through work as an inspirational, lovely person and someone who lived to make others happy.”

A collection is being held for Mr Hondru with the money to be spent on helping build an orphanage in Romania in his memory.

Donations to the Romanian Orthodox Church can be sent by cheque payable to I Stewart, care of Priest Pufulete, St Dunstan in the West, 184 Fleet Street, London, EC4A 2AE, UK.

Works were stopped at both M25 widening sites out of respect for Mr Hondru and consideration for the other workers in light of the tragedy. They reopened for work the following Monday, October 25.

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