Driver threw herself in front of car after killing girl in crash

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A WOMAN who killed a schoolgirl in a road accident took her own life three years later, an inquest has heard.

Gillian Ancell struggled to cope after knocking down 15-year-old Robyn Oldham as the teenager made her way home from school.

Police cleared Mrs Ancell, a 56-year-old cleaner, of any blame, but she felt “vilified” by the media, the inquest heard.

Robyn’s family then launched their own bid to prosecute her privately and she decided to take her own life.

Four weeks after getting a court summons in the post, she stepped on to a busy dual- carriageway and was killed instantly by a car doing 70mph.

The impact on the A90 between Peterhead and Aberdeen caused her horrific injuries.

Moments earlier, she had been seen standing by the roadside smoking and staring blankly at the white lines.

The inquest heard that Mrs Ancell had never recovered from the trauma of knocking down and killing Robyn in September 2008 on the A947 in Aberdeenshire.

The youngster was just 50 yards from her home when she stepped off the school bus and was hit by Mrs Ancell’s Mercedes. Mrs Ancell desperately tried to perform first aid before Robyn was airlifted to Aberdeen Royal Infirmary where she was pronounced dead from multiple injuries.

At the time, Mrs Ancell said the accident turned her life “upside down” and she suffered from depression and vivid flashbacks.

Mrs Ancell lived in Ellon, Aberdeenshire, but the inquest was held near her family’s home in Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire, at their request. Her sister, who asked to remain unnamed, told the inquest: “It’s taken a long time to come to terms with what happened to Gillian.

“It’s desperately sad but she wasn’t herself. She didn’t realise that she had been completely vilified in Scotland for the tragic accident in 2008.

“She received the summons and didn’t know what to do. She received little support after the accident and had no counselling. It’s so sad and it’s so tragic, but she was very unhappy in Scotland and she just wanted to come home.”

She added: “We truly believe no-one was to blame for her death. She was troubled by the court summons and nobody could explain to her that she didn’t have to worry. She thought she was on her own.

“Gillian was treated so cruelly in the press, and this caused her great distress, therefore we wish to make no further statement or comment.”

The driver who witnessed Mrs Ancell’s death said: “I was travelling around 60 miles per hour, it was dark and I had my head lights on.

“We saw a person in the road but couldn’t tell where they had come from. She was struck and thrown into the air.

“The bottom part [of her body] made contact with our car, we swerved, pulled over and called 999.”

Coroner David Morris said: “I believe beyond all reasonable doubt that here she took her own life.

“She was there in strange circumstances and had no reason to be there to simply cross the road.

“She was not herself and was troubled by her history.”