Epileptic driver jailed for more than four years for killing toddler

Lee Burford, 44, had ignored medical advice and continued to drive his Renault Clio before the incident in October 2020.

Epileptic driver jailed for more than four years for killing toddler

An epileptic driver has been jailed for more than four years for killing a toddler and injuring her father when his car mounted the pavement and crashed into them.

Lee Burford, 44, had ignored medical advice and continued to drive his Renault Clio before the tragic incident in Eastcote Road, Ruislip, west London, on October 25 2020.

Twenty-two month old Zhaoxi Wang, known as Xi Xi, died in the crash and her father Qi Wang was injured.

On Thursday, Burford, from Harrow, pleaded guilty to causing her death by dangerous driving and was jailed for four years and two months.

He was handed concurrent sentences for causing injury by dangerous driving and fraudulently failing to declare he suffered from fits to gain employment as a driver in 2017.

Opening the facts, Catherine Pattison told the Old Bailey: “The tragic nature of the case is perhaps even more significant because had he notified the DVLA of a seizure he suffered four months earlier on June 22 2020, then Mr Burford would not have had a driving licence at all.”

The prosecutor said the defendant had disregarded advice of medics not only about his epilepsy but also non-prescription drugs and had continued to drive regardless.

She said: “It would appear he consumed a quantity of cocaine some time before getting behind the wheel of October 25 2020, the date of the fatal collision.”

The crash happened at about 4.20pm on a stretch of road with a 30mph speed limit.

Mr Wang was pushing his daughter in a pushchair accompanied by his wife on their way home from a park.

Ms Pattison said: “At the time of the collision Zhaoxi was strapped into her pushchair. She was facing forward.”

Burford’s Clio mounted the pavement and struck Mr Wang and the pushchair.

“Mr Wang was thrown sideways towards a low wall and the pushchair was thrown into the air and landed onto the road.”

The vehicle continued on the pavement, hit a telephone exchange box and sign post before coming to a stop in the road, the court heard.

Mr Wang suffered a broken arm and his young daughter’s injuries were too serious and she died at the scene, the court was told.

In a victim impact statement Mr Wang said losing their daughter had been “absolutely devastating for us” and he was left feeling angry and helpless.

He said: “What I would like to say to the defendant is; you should have stayed away from driving.

“You will never know how it feels to be in this situation. To be in our shoes.

“We were trying to be responsible, good citizens, abiding by the law but of course we had no control over other people. You did the opposite.”

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