Surjit Gillard, 71, has admitted she rarely goes out following the death of husband Terence, 84, who was struck by a vehicle and suffered a brain haemorrhage, a fractured shoulder, a burst lung broken ribs, and a misaligned spine. The dad of one died seven days later.
Police investigated but have had to close the investigation, leaving Surjit bereft. Speaking out the widow said: "I am not living, this isn’t life. I just wake up in the morning and have the TV on the whole time."
Surjit, who was married to Terence for 39 years, particularly struggled at their son Arjun's wedding in September. Now that Metropolitan Police have closed the investigation, Surjit has faced further sorrow. The mum told My London : "Since the police told me the investigation has come to an end I haven’t stopped crying, my hair is falling out, I’ve lost so much weight. It’s been horrible.
"My son Arjun’s wedding was in September and I bottled all my emotions because it was his day, but I came back on the Sunday and didn’t stop crying for over a week. I’m always crying and then I don’t want to see people. I go out with my cousin but even when I am out I’m always thinking of him and missing him because we were literally attached at the hip. Just everyday things, him being here and suggesting that we go out for a meal on a nice day.
"We used to go out about three times a week, and now I just don’t. Everyone says you have to start living your life, but it’s not a life without him. I’m just passing my time. He was my whole life, and he’s gone. My son Arjun’s wedding was in September and I bottled all my emotions because it was his day, but I came back on the Sunday and didn’t stop crying for over a week. I’m always crying and then I don’t want to see people."
The crash happened at a busy junction in Osterley, west London, on September 11, 2022. In the aftermath, police said the driver of the car, a man in his 60s, that hit Terry stopped at the scene and was interviewed under caution. However, in the last week, the Met has confirmed that the police enquiry into the collision has now been closed.
This will remain the case unless any significant new evidence can be unearthed, with Surjit urging anyone who may have seen what happened last year to get in touch with police. She continued: "They’ve told me they’re finding the driver not liable as he is 'a good and competent driver' and his view was blocked.
"As far as I’m concerned though the reason his view was blocked was because two cars had stopped and one had hooted, so why wasn’t he paying attention to that? But they’re relying on their software to estimate the speed from the CCTV footage.
"He told police 'I was just looking ahead', you don’t just look ahead when driving you have to watch for hazards. In my opinion, he had ample time to brake, and if he had been doing 19mph as the police say Terry wouldn’t have got injuries that he did.
"I wrote back saying most of my questions haven’t been answered, but I haven’t heard back and I’m not holding my breath. They essentially can’t prove what he was doing, they don’t have enough evidence, so we need more witnesses to come forward. If you were there and you saw anything please get in touch with the police, anyone who was near or at the BP petrol station and saw the accident."
Met Police said to My London that the case has been closed and a file is being prepared for the coroner. Unfortunately, Surjit also feels her concerns over the dangerous road layout are also not being properly heard. Following the crash she campaigned to have a new crossing installed to prevent more people being hurt in the dangerous section of road, even having a petition read out in Parliament.
But the proposed plans to make the road safer may be missing the point, the widow said. She said: "The petition I made to change the road layout was read in Parliament by our MP and the Mayor is planning to lower the speed limit to 30mph and put cameras there." Surjit explained. But we asked for a pedestrian crossing, because that’s the real reason Terry died. There’s nowhere safe to cross."
If you were in the area of the BP petrol station on the Great West Road and Jersey Road junction on September 22 2022 and witnessed the accident you may have seen something which could help investigators. If so you can get in touch with police by calling 101.