Woman driver who killed schoolgirl in accident committed suicide three years later

Gillian Ancell struggled to cope after knocking down 15-year-old Robyn Oldham (pictured)
Gillian Ancell struggled to cope after knocking down 15-year-old Robyn Oldham (pictured)
Gillian Ancell struggled to cope after knocking down 15-year-old Robyn Oldham (pictured)
Gillian Ancell struggled to cope after knocking down 15-year-old Robyn Oldham (pictured)

A woman motorist who was racked with guilt over the death of a schoolgirl in a tragic accident horrifically killed herself three years later, an inquest heard.

Tormented 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 ‘vilifed’ by the press.

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

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

The impact on the A90 between Peterhead and Aberdeen was so severe her body was cut in half.

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

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

The popular 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 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, Cambs. at their request.

Her sister, who asked to remain unnamed, told the inquest: “Its taken a long time to come to terms with what happened to Gillian.

“Its desperately sad but she wasn’t herself.

“She didn’t realise that she had been completed 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.

“Its so sad and its 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, her body appeared to split.

“The bottom part 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.”


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