BY TOBY PORTER
A driver who killed a doctor after failing to clear frost from his car windscreen has been jailed.
Pedestrian Jasjot Singhota (pictured right), a 30-year-old doctor who lived in Tulse Hill and worked for the Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Trust, died at 7.20am on Wednesday, January 27, 2017 in Thurlow Park Road, at the junction with Birkbeck Hill, Tulse Hill.
Alexander Fitzgerald (pictured left), 26, of Selwood Road, Brentwood, Essex, was sentenced at Kingston Crown Court on Friday, January 11 to 10 months’ imprisonment for causing death by careless driving, reduced from 16 months, and four-and-a-half months for causing death by driving uninsured, to be served concurrently.
He had pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to both offences.
He was also disqualified from driving for 23 months and ordered to take a standard retest upon the end of his disqualification period.
Police called to the scene found the car driven by university student Fitzgerald, a black Ford Fiesta, had collided with Jasjot, who was taken to hospital but died the following day.
The cause of death was given as traumatic brain injury. Fitzgerald stopped at the scene.
An investigation by officers from the Met’s Serious Collision Investigation Unit established that Fitzgerald, who was driving to work from his girlfriend’s address, was not the owner of the car and was not insured to drive it.
Fitzgerald was travelling with frost on his windscreen that had not been cleared; he did not notice Jasjot on a zebra crossing and collided with her, causing her injuries.
Jasjot’s sister, Neha Santasalo, said in a statement: “Although this will not bring Jasjot back, the sentencing provides closure, allowing us to focus on our sister, her life and all that she achieved.
“This sentence shows how important it is to clear your windscreen before driving off in the morning, especially during the cold weather.
“This is a simple action that takes no time at all but can prevent any other family having to go through what we have.” Detective Constable Sejal Unadkat, who led the investigation, said: “This is an incident that could have been avoided entirely if only Fitzgerald had taken the proper precautions in ensuring his visibility was not impaired by the frost on his windscreen.
“He didn’t, and as a result Jasjot’s family, and indeed society, has been robbed of a much-loved and talented individual who worked as a doctor to improve the lives of others.
“Through being an organ donor Jasjot has saved the lives of five other people since her death; a fact that both comforts her family in their grief, and fills them with immeasurable pride at what a selfless and kind person she truly was. I hope this custodial sentence gives them some small measure of closure.”
A spokeswoman from Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust said at the time of Dr Singhota’s death: “We are deeply saddened to hear about the tragic death of our colleague Dr Jasjot Singhota, and our thoughts are with her family and colleagues at this difficult time.
“Dr Singhota was a dedicated, committed and well-respected member of staff, as well as an excellent doctor with a bright and promising future.”
Alexander’s 54-year-old father Gary Fitzgerald appeared at Camberwell Green Magistrates’ Court in May 2018 charged with permitting the use of a motor vehicle with no insurance, to which he pleaded guilty and was subsequently given eight points on his license, issued with a £250 fine and ordered to pay a victim surcharge and costs.