Police won’t charge driver who killed two London schoolgirls

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The driver whose car ploughed into a school in London, killing two eight-year-old girls, will not face criminal charges after she was found to have suffered an epileptic seizure at the wheel, prosecutors said on Wednesday.

Nuria Sajjad and Selena Lau were killed and several others injured when a Land Rover crashed into the private Study Prep girls’ school in Wimbledon, in the southwest of the British capital, in July last year.

The parents of the victims said in response that they were “disappointed” in the justice system and that “Nuria and Selena deserved better.”

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The driver, Claire Freemantle, had an epileptic seizure behind the wheel, causing her to “lose control of the vehicle which then drove into the school”, Jaswant Narwal, from the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said.

Narwal added that medical records and evidence from neurological specialists showed that it was the first time the driver had suffered such a seizure and “had no previously diagnosed medical condition.”

“Because there is nothing to suggest the driver could have done anything to predict or prevent this tragedy, it is not in the public interest to pursue a criminal prosecution,” she added.

The victims’ parents said of the conclusion: “There are questions that remain unanswered. We are not assured that all doubt has been removed in reaching the conclusion the Crown Prosecution Service have reached.

“As long as these doubts remain, we remain unconvinced that a fair and thorough investigation was conducted,” the parents added, saying they had not been provided with “sufficient evidence.”

Clair Kelland, who is in charge of policing for the Metropolitan Police in southwest London, said it was understandable that “some may be confused -- perhaps even feel let down -- by this outcome.”

To bring charges in such a case, Kelland explained, “there needs to be an element of responsibility on the part of the driver, and, given the circumstances, this was simply not borne out on this occasion.”

Freemantle expressed her “deepest sorrow” in a statement, adding that she had “no recollection of what took place” after losing consciousness behind the wheel.

“I can only express my deepest sorrow for the families who have suffered such dreadful loss and injury,” she said.

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