Police warn of dangers of speeding after man jailed following fatal collision
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Police are warning of the dangers of speeding after a car travelling over the limit collided with a wall – killing two passengers.
Scott Fitzgerald was sentenced on Friday (19 January) at Leicester Crown Court to a total of nine years and 10 months in prison after his actions led to the death of his brother, 29-year-old Shane Fitzgerald, and fellow passenger, 36-year-old Daniel Witheridge.
In a hearing in November last year, the 37-year-old defendant pleaded guilty to two counts of causing death by dangerous driving and one count of assaulting an emergency worker.
Scott Fitzgerald, of Manor Road, Loughborough, was driving a black Range Rover in excess of the 30mph speed limit when he hit a wall in Forest Road, Woodhouse, at around 6.20pm on Tuesday 3 October 2023.
The collision caused the car to rotate into the path of an oncoming vehicle – a grey Volkswagen Transporter – before coming to a stop.
Before police arrived, Fitzgerald left the scene of the collision but was located by officers a short time later and arrested. While under arrest, Fitzgerald also assaulted an officer.
Both Shane Fitzgerald and Daniel Witheridge were pronounced dead at the scene. The driver of the Transporter sustained minor injuries as a result of the incident.
Witnesses of the collision, as well as examination of the Range Rover by one of the force’s specialist forensic collision investigators, were able to evidence that the car was travelling well in excess of the 30mph speed limit as it travelled round the bend and collided with the stone wall.
For causing the death of the two passengers, Fitzgerald was sentenced to nine years and nine months in prison. He was given an additional month for assaulting a PC.
At the sentencing hearing he also pleaded guilty to failing to provide a specimen of blood following the incident.
Following his release from prison he will also be disqualified from driving for eight years.
As Fitzgerald now faces a number of years behind bars, Detective Constable Charlotte Wright from the force’s Serious Collision Investigation Unit, said: “Fitzgerald never set out that day with the intention of killing anyone but his choice to go considerably faster than the speed limit has shattered two families and not only resulted in him being sent to prison but also having to live with the devastating consequences of his actions.”
Detective Sergeant Ed Des-Chanelle added: “Everyone knows speeding is against the law but speed limits are put in place for a reason - it is one of the main factors in fatal road collisions. We know the difference a few miles per hour can make the difference between life and death. The faster someone is driving, the less time they have to stop if something unexpected happens.”
A second man was also charged in connection with this incident and is due to stand trial for assisting an offender later this year.