Two men, including an Indian-origin driver, have been jailed for six years after their racing led to the death of an 81-year-old Sikh woman in the UK’s West Midlands region in 2022.
Surinder Kaur was pronounced dead on the scene after she was hit by a vehicle on Oldbury Road in Rowley Regis, West Midlands, on November 13, 2022, the BBC reported, citing police.
In addition to the jail-term, Arjun Dosanjh (26) and Jacek Wiatrowski (51) were banned from driving for eight years by the Wolverhampton Crown Court last week.
The court heard that Dosanjh and Wiatrowski, who did not know each other, decided to race after pulling up at traffic lights next to each other.
Both vehicles were significantly exceeding the speed limit when they hit Kaur, who was reportedly on her way back home from a gurdwara. CCTV footage showed Wiatrowski, who was driving a black BMW, braking heavily as he spotted Kaur crossing the road, the detectives handling the case said.
He narrowly missed, but caused Dosanjh’s blue Mini to swerve on to the wrong side of the road, hitting Kaur.
Both defendants pleaded guilty to causing death by dangerous driving at an earlier hearing.
“Wiatrowski and Dosanjh did not know each other and were driving competitively – this dangerous and foolish action has cost a life,” Detective Sergeant Chris Ridge, West Midlands Police, said.
In a victim statement read out to the court and released by police, Kaur’s family said: “Our mum lived a very simple life. She was a deeply religious woman and on the day of the accident she was on her way home from the Gurdwara.
“The days and weeks after mum’s death were really tough; as well as trying to come to terms with our loss we had to deal with an ongoing police investigation.”
Meanwhile, road safety campaigners slammed the sentences of Dosanjh and Wiatrowski and called for stripping off their licences.