Man arrested in Old Lyme pedestrian fatality

Nicolae Marcu
Nicolae Marcu

Old Lyme — State police say they have arrested the man who was driving a tractor-trailer that struck and killed a 31-year-old Middletown woman on Interstate 95 south last year.

Nicolae Marcu, 48, of Bedford, N.H., was charged Oct. 11 on a warrant with negligent homicide with a vehicle and failure to drive in the proper lane.

The crash happened on Dec. 1 last year between Exits 71 and 70. The road, police noted in an arrest warrant affidavit, was clear of debris and dry.

Witnesses told police Ashley Ferguson had pulled her Kia Optima fully into the breakdown lane to check on her infant daughter, who was coughing while eating in the back seat. Ferguson was leaning into the back seat with the rear driver’s side door open when Marcu drove into the left side of the car, according to the affidavit.

The impact ripped one of Ferguson’s legs from her body. She was pronounced deceased at the scene.

According to police, Marcu’s vehicle continued almost 245 feet beyond the point of impact, traveling through a guardrail and into trees. It sustained heavy damage along the way.

Marcu and Ferguson’s two passengers were not injured in the crash.

In the affidavit, police said tire mark evidence indicated Marcu had applied “skid-inducing braking” after the collision. Police didn’t say whether Marcu braked prior to the wreck.

On scene, one witness heard Marcu say, “Oh my god, I can’t believe that I just killed someone,” the affidavit states. Marcu allegedly said those words repeatedly.

Police checked Marcu’s phone and determined he hadn’t been using it at the time of the crash. A toxicology report showed Marcu didn’t have alcohol in his blood during the incident, but did have diphenhydramine in his system. Diphenhydramine is an antihistamine found in drugs such as Benadryl. In their report, police noted that diphenhydramine commonly causes drowsiness.

Police last month said they hadn’t yet received Marcu's log book or history from the trucking company, MGR Freight System Inc. of Countryside, Ill. The company had referred troopers to its attorney’s office.

Police did receive an affidavit detailing Marcu’s whereabouts for the 24 hours prior to the wreck. Marcu, however, declined to give police a statement about the moments leading up to the crash, according to the affidavit.

Released on a $10,000 nonsurety bond, Marcu is due in New London Superior Court on Oct. 26.

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