Nottingham: Family of student killed in police chase call for justice

Oshada Jayasundera
Image caption,Oshada Jayasundera was on an MSc project management course at Nottingham Trent University

The family of a student fatally struck by a car during a police chase say they “hope for justice to prevail”.

Oshada Jayasundera, 31, a mature student at Nottingham Trent University, was pronounced dead at the scene in Nottingham on Wednesday.

His family, who live in Sri Lanka, said their hearts were “heavy with grief”.

Joshua Gregory, 27, was charged with causing death by dangerous driving and causing death by driving whilst uninsured.

Mr Jayasundera, who was on an MSc project management course, died on Wednesday.

He was described as an “engaged and committed” student by the university.

‘Unfortunate tragedy’

His family, who were calling for justice in a statement, said: “It is with profound sorrow that we share the devastating news of the tragic passing of our beloved family member, Oshada Jayasundera, in a fatal accident. Our hearts are heavy with grief as we come to terms with this unfortunate incident.

“We extend our heartfelt gratitude to the Nottinghamshire Police staff, Nottingham Trent University staff members, Coroner’s Office, The High Commission of Sri Lanka in the UK, the Sri Lanka Foreign Ministry, Nottingham Shanthi Vihara and Meditation Centre as well as friends and colleagues. Their unwavering support and guidance has been a source of strength during these challenging times.

“We hope that no-one will have to endure such an unfortunate tragedy in the future. As we grieve deeply, we earnestly hope for justice to prevail in this matter in honour of Oshada’s memory.”

Police vans
Image caption,The mature student was pronounced dead at the scene

Mr Gregory, of Westfield Road in Kirkby-in-Ashfield, has been charged with four offences.

These include causing death by dangerous driving, causing death by driving whilst uninsured, failure to stop after a road accident, and failure to provide a specimen for analysis.

He has been remanded into custody and will next appear at Nottingham Crown Court on 12 January.

An IOPC spokesperson previously said it had started an investigation into the pursuit after being notified by the force.

“We sent our investigators to the police post-incident process and scene to begin gathering information, including initial accounts from the officers involved and other police witnesses,” they said.

“We are also gathering police dashcam and body-worn video footage.

“We understand that the Focus initially came to the attention of police at about 03:10 GMT but officers lost sight of it.

“A pursuit began when officers in another vehicle spotted the Focus, which subsequently collided with a male pedestrian shortly after 03:20.

“Our thoughts are with all those affected by this tragic incident.”

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