Death of Teo Peter
Peter was killed in a traffic accident at 04:30 on 4 December 2004 when 31-year-old U.S. Marine Staff Sergeant Christopher Van Goethem serving as a Marine Security Guard at the U.S. embassy in Bucharest, while driving his Ford Expedition, collided with a taxi carrying Peter. Van Goethem did not obey a traffic signal to stop, which resulted in the collision. Peter was buried on 7 December in Mănăştur Cemetery, in his native Cluj-Napoca.
Although Van Goethem had admitted to drinking about three and a half beers over the course of the evening, tests of his blood returned negative for both alcohol and drugs, and he fled to Germany before charges could be filed in Romania. The Romanian government requested the American government lift his diplomatic immunity, which it has refused to do. The Marine was later cleared by a court martial of both manslaughter and adultery while convicted for obstruction of justice and making false statements.
Peter's death and Van Goethem's court martial were very controversial and led to protests from Romanians in the United States.
In 2005, the U.S. Embassy announced the establishment of a memorial commemorating the life and work of Teo Peter. The memorial is an annual professional visit program awarded to a distinguished Romanian cultural figure whose work addresses young people or helps to advance the careers of new artists and performers.
- Compact. cat-music.ro
- A Thorn in Bush’s Side. Newsweek International
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- Diaspora Romaneasca – Diverse. Diasporaro.com (16 December 2004). Retrieved on 2016-10-18.
- "VanGoethem cleared of major charges in Romanian's death". Stars and Stripes. 1 February 2006.
- STATEMENT FOR THE PRESS ON THE ACCIDENT THAT TOOK THE LIFE OF TEO PETER. United States Embassy to Bucharest, Romania (4 December 2004)
- Press Releases-PRESS RELEASE[dead link]
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- U.S. EMBASSY NAMES MR. MIHAI BABUSKA AS FIRST “TEO PETER MEMORIAL INTERNATIONAL VISITOR”. United States Embassy to Bucharest, Romania (16 June 2005)