Teo Peter, founding member of the Romanian rock group "Contact", was killed in a traffic accident in Bucharest on December 4. Peter traveled in a taxi that was struck by a US Embassy vehicle driven by US Marine Robert Christopher. Witnesses report that 31-year-old Marine drove his car at high speed through an intersection, did not heed the traffic signs, and hit the taxi. The impact was so forceful that the taxi whirled through the air and hit a pillar in front of the Sudanese embassy. Rescue workers could not save Peter's life, the driver of the taxi was severly wounded but is said to be in stable condition.
Christopher was brought to the police station, where he was questioned and took a breathlyzer test. He agreed to these procedures and also signed a sworn statement. Daily News reports:
According to Bucharest Police, the breathalyzer test showed the American driver had a 0.09 milligrams alcohol level in his blood, where as, under Romanian law, drivers are not allowed to drink at all. When police saw the breathalyzer results, they tried to take the marine to the National Institute of Forensic Medicine to perform a blood test, but he refused, saying the institute does not use the "medical instruments offered by the embassy," according to the police press release. The U.S. Embassy announced the marine has already been taken out of the country, guarded by a security officer, and is now in a U.S. military base in Europe.The Romanians are understandably upset about this incident. They demand the return of the Marine and a waiver of his immunity. They refer to the case of a drunk Georgian diplomat who killed a little girl in an accident in the US in 1997. Back then, the US demanded of Georgia to waive the diplomat's immunity and the request was granted.
U.S. Ambassador Jack Dyer Crouch said the Romanian authorities were informed that the Marine officer would be taken out of Romania, adding that the Convention in Austria states that any embassy employee has the right to leave the country in order to be investigated in his own country. Crouch said the Romanian authorities did not need to give their approval for the American Marine to be evacuated to his own country, as his departure was in the interests of those involved in the case and that it was a decision of the American government.Well.