London: An Indian-origin driver has been sentenced to 16 years in prison for causing the deaths of a pregnant woman and her father when he hit a family of five with his car in the UK.
Nitesh Bissendary, 31, lost control of his black Alfa Romeo in Leopold Street, Ramsgate, England on August 10, killing Yoram Hirshfeld, 81, and his pregnant daughter Noga Sella, 37, on the spot.
Sella’s husband, their son and daughter aged six and eight, were badly injured in the crash, which occurred when Bissendary’s vehicle collided with the family’s car.
“Bissendary of Highlands Glade, Manston, admitted causing death by careless driving but denied the more serious offence of causing death by dangerous driving, in addition to causing serious injury by dangerous driving,” a Kent Police statement read.
He was convicted on Thursday following a trial at Canterbury Crown Court.
He will also be disqualified from driving for 10 years following his release, the police statement added.
The court heard how Bissendary returned to the scene of the incident after initially fleeing on foot, failing a roadside drug test that indicated traces of cocaine.
However he refused to give a follow-up blood test following arrest.
Bissendary claimed to have a vehicle defect which he was trying to rectify, causing him to take his eyes off the road moments before the collision.
“From the moment he took cocaine before getting behind the wheel of his car, the actions of Nitesh Bissendary have been nothing short of disgraceful. He has refused to take full responsibility for a tragic incident that was completely avoidable and entirely of his making, going so far as to run away whilst his victims lay injured and dying,” Detective Inspector Lynn Wilczek of Kent Police’s Serious Collision Investigation Unit said.
“Denying his actions were dangerous only caused more pain for the family as they were forced to relive the terrible events of that night during his trial,” Wilczek added.
The Detective Inspector said he was “pleased the jury saw fit to convict Bissendary for his crimes and that he will now serve a significant period of time behind bars where he belongs”.
Sella, a physician at Cambridge, was five weeks pregnant when she was killed in the collision.
Bissendary was charged with causing death by dangerous driving, causing serious injury by dangerous driving, drunk driving, failing to stop at the scene of a road traffic collision, and failing to provide a sample for analysis.
He also pleaded guilty to assault occasioning actual bodily harm, failing to provide a sample for analysis and possession with intent to supply cocaine.