Student jailed for killing doctor on zebra crossing after failing to defrost windscreen

Dr Jasjot Singhota's death 'could have been avoided entirely,' says detective who led investigation

Chiara Giordano
Monday 14 January 2019 16:50 GMT
Student jailed for killing doctor on zebra crossing after failing to defrost windscreen

A student who killed a doctor on a zebra crossing after failing to defrost his windscreen has been jailed.

Alexander Fitzgerald, 26, drove into 30-year-old Jasjot Singhota after failing to see her on the crossing in Tulse Hill, southeast London.

The uninsured driver was behind the wheel of a Ford Fiesta with frost on the windscreen when the accident happened on 25 January, 2017. He stopped at the scene.

The detective leading the investigation said Dr Singhota’s death “could have been avoided entirely”.

Dr Singhota, who worked as an anaesthetist at St Thomas’ Hospital, in Lambeth, London, was rushed into emergency surgery but died the following day after suffering a traumatic brain injury.

Police say she saved the lives of five other people through being an organ donor.

University student Fitzgerald, of Selwood Road, Essex, was handed a 10-month prison sentence and a 23-month driving ban at Kingston Crown Court on Friday.

He had previously pleaded guilty to causing death by careless driving and causing death by driving uninsured.

Dr Singhota's sister, Neha Santasalo, said the sentence “provides closure allowing us to focus on our sister, her life and all that she achieved”.

Student Alexander Fitzgerald, 26, has been jailed for 10 months after killing doctor Jasjot Singhota on a zebra crossing in London.
Student Alexander Fitzgerald, 26, has been jailed for 10 months after killing doctor Jasjot Singhota on a zebra crossing in London. (Metropolitan Police)

She added that clearing a windscreen during cold weather is a “simple action that takes no time at all but can prevent any other family having to go through what we have”.

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Fitzgerald's 54-year-old father, Gary Fitzgerald, pleaded guilty to permitting the use of a motor vehicle with no insurance at Camberwell Green Magistrates’ Court in May last year.

He was given eight penalty points on his licence, a £250 fine and ordered to pay a victim surcharge and costs.

There were 164 casualties from crashes on Britain’s roads in 2017 when a driver’s visibility was impaired due to a frosted, dirty or scratched windscreen or visor, Department for Transport figures show.

One in eight respondents to an AA survey admitted they do not fully clear ice off their windscreen before setting off.

The organisation’s president Edmund King urged drivers to ensure ice is removed from all windows and mirrors, adding that he often sees drivers “peering out of a small gap on the windscreen like a tank commander”.

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