Tragedy on town station platform

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A Grandmother who suffered from mental health problems threw herself in front of a freight train, an inquest heard.

Mother-of-four Dawn Driver, of Slater Lane, Leyland, died after being struck by the train on the afternoon of July 23.

She suffered from schizophrenia, affective psychosis and chronic anxiety, particularly when out of the house.

Driver Paul Mills described the moment he spotted the 60-year-old on platform four of Leyland Station.

He said: “As I approached the platform, I noticed a lady who seemed to look out at my train.

“My first impression was she was looking to see what train it was.

“She sort of hop, hop, hopped straight in front of the train. That’s the only way I can describe it really.”

The 900ft train struck her at around 25mph, causing multiple injuries, and she was pronounced dead at the scene.

Mrs Driver, a housewife, had suffered from mental health issues for a number of years and was under the care of Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust.

Community psychiatric nurse Damien Dewhurst had been her care co-ordinator for around three months after her regular carer retired.

He said her mental health problems were “quite severe” and “the care package she received reflected that.”

Mr Dewhurst saw Mrs Driver on the morning of the day she died and administered an anti-psychotic injection.

He said: “She was on a variety of medication. Her mood fluctuated frequently but on that morning I had no cause for concern. She was watching TV and she asked me to wait until the end of the programme she was watching which had nearly finished.

“We were talking about her plans for later that day. She never expressed an intention to harm herself. That week she had probably had as much intervention as is possible.”

Mrs Driver had attempted to take her own life around two years ago and also in 2007.

Deputy coroner Simon Jones, at Preston Coroner’s Court, said: “It’s clear that your mother had mental health problems that were, to some degree, controlled by medication. It’s clear that she had a troubled past. In the days leading up to the day of her death, there appeared to be no indication of her intention.

“She had been seen by a doctor and Mr Dewhurst in the morning who found nothing unusual or untoward and gave her her medication.”

However Mr Jones said the witness evidence that Mrs Driver looked out onto the platform, leant back and looked out again before leaping in front of the train led him to be “satisfied that she did what she did with the intention to end her own life.”

A verdict of suicide was recorded.