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Man pleads guilty to causing crash which killed his best friend

PUBLISHED: 20:52 20 August 2018 | UPDATED: 08:35 22 August 2018

The scene of the crash on Windmill Hill in Long Melford Picture: ARCHANT

The scene of the crash on Windmill Hill in Long Melford Picture: ARCHANT

A 26-year-old man from Ipswich has pleaded guilty to causing a crash which claimed the life of his best friend.

Maciej Antkowiak, who was killed following an accident in Long Melford. Picture: SUPPLIED BY SUFFOLK CONSTABULARYMaciej Antkowiak, who was killed following an accident in Long Melford. Picture: SUPPLIED BY SUFFOLK CONSTABULARY

Krzysztof Maslak, of Hartley Street, Ipswich, appeared at Suffolk Magistrates’ Court yesterday charged with careless driving following a crash on November 22 last year in which 23-year-old Maciej Antkowiak was killed.

Prosecuting, Ian Devine said the collision happened on the A1092, Westlegate Street, in Long Melford while Maslak was driving himself and two others to Glemsford in a Toyota Yaris.

He said Maslak picked up a female colleague in Ipswich before picking up Mr Antkowiak, who sat in the front passenger seat.

“They set off from Ipswich in what was probably a very uneventful journey into Long Melford, arriving there at about 5.40am in the morning,” said Mr Devine. “Mr Maslak, whilst in Long Melford, overtook one vehicle without incident and as they continued their journey he came behind a second vehicle which was travelling at about 30mph. He chose to overtake that vehicle as well.

“Mr Maslak was completing that manoeuvre when he was then faced with the headlights of a car coming, quite properly, from the opposite direction.

“Faced with the oncoming car he over-steered to the left.

“He didn’t collide with the car he was overtaking or the car he was facing, but he did collide with the curbstone and having hit the curbstone on the passenger side he then over-steered to the right.

“In doing so he caused his vehicle to turn 90 degrees so it was sliding across the road.

“It came to a halt when it hit the brick wall on a nearby stables and the impact was all on the passenger side.”

Defending Maslak, Malcolm Plummer described his client’s overtaking speed as “over the limit but not excessive”.

“This was a total tragedy,” he said. “The deceased was my client’s best friend, they had known each other for some considerable time.”

He added that Mr Antkowiak’s family were “heartbroken their son had died” but that they did not blame Maslak for the collision.

“They are not aggressive towards him, they are just so sad it has happened at all,” he said.

Maslak was released on unconditional bail until sentencing at Ipswich Crown Court on September 17.

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