The parents of a much-loved pharmacist from Cambridge who died in a crash have spoken of their grief as the driver responsible has been jailed.
Dishant Patel, 25 from Longstanton, was travelling in a car as a rear seated passenger along the B1050 towards Longstanton from the A14 at Bar Hill on Saturday, April 23, 2016, when the accident happened.
He was taken to Addenbrookes Hospital, Cambridge, and died in theatre in the early hours of the morning on April 24.
On Friday (March 23) Jignesh Patel, 27 from Wellingborough was found guilty of causing death by dangerous driving.
Today (Monday, March 26) Patel was sentenced to three years in prison. He has also been disqualified from driving for three and a half years.
The trial heard that the vehicle Dishant was travelling in entered a right-hand bend and lost control, causing it to leave the road and roll into a nearby field. Jignesh Patel suffered minor injuries in the crash.
During the investigation it emerged that a front seated passenger in the car, driven by Jignesh Patel, had been recording the journey on his mobile phone and using the Snapchat social media app.
Giving his evidence, Patel claimed that the back torch light from the front passengers phone had interfered with his vision on the dark unlit road when the collision occurred.
Dishant, who lived with his parents, was a registered pharmacist and worked for worked for Lloyds Pharmacy in Cambridge at the Arbury branch.
He had been offered a post at Lloyds branch in Addenbrookes Hospital in the city, but had not been able to take the position up before his accident.
"Nothing will ever bring Dishant back"
Speaking after the conclusion of the case Dishants father, Shailesh Patel, said: “Dishants death absolutely devastated the family. We still have not come to terms with the fact that he is no longer with us.
“He was a pivotal member of the family, who was ambitious and dedicated to his new career. Its so upsetting that we will not see him flourish in his professional life, which he would no doubt have done.
“Despite the verdict, the hard fact is nothing will ever bring Dishant back and that is just heartbreaking.
“As a family we really want to thank the team from Cambridgeshire police and the Crown Prosecution Service who were involved in the case and were completely dedicated to their job.
“They worked incredibly hard throughout and kept us informed and supported.”
Before delivering his sentence, Judge Gareth Hawkesworth read a victim impact statement prepared by Dishants family.
Death crash driver was friends with young pharmacist
He also considered substantial mitigating factors, noting that Dishant had been a very close friend of Jignesh Patels.
He also said that the front seat passenger had clearly contributed to Jignesh Patel losing control of the vehicle.
Following the crash, Dishants parents, Sangita and Shailesh Patel, instructed fatal accident specialist solicitors at Irwin Mitchell to investigate the crash and to support them through the proceedings.
Neil Whiteley, the serious injury specialist at Irwin Mitchell representing Dishants parents, said: “Dishants death was extremely tragic and has been felt by a lot of people as he was very well regarded.
“As this trial has shown, the consequences of dangerous driving can be fatal and devastating. We will continue to work with Sangita and Shailesh to ensure they receive the support they need.
Download the Cambridge News app
We've launched our very own app for Android and Apple devices which can be tailored to deliver the news and sport that you're interested in.
Find out more about the app here.
“Although there was clear evidence that the driver had been speeding at times leading up to the crash, sadly this incident goes to demonstrate the risks around mobiles and videos distracting the driver.
“I would also urge people to take note of the #dontstreamanddrive campaign which seeks to raise awareness of these dangers, currently being promoted online.”