WOMAN WHO PARKED ON TRAIN TRACK WAS DEPRESSED — (Eastbourne Herald)

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Eastbourne Herald

16:10Monday 21 August 2006

A MOTHER who killed herself by parking her car on the Wilmington level crossing was an ‘outgoing and bubbly’ person who suffered depression after the birth of her first child.

Alison McCloskey, 37, from Caneheath near Polegate, died when her Mini Cooper convertible was hit by a train on January 26.

On Tuesday an inquest at Eastbourne Magistrates Court found she had taken her life deliberately due to depression.

Mrs McCloskey, a part-time payroll assistant at Glyndebourne Opera House, had no previous history of psychological illness until suffering from postnatal depression in 2003.

Her illness was helped by a course of anti-depressants and treatment from mental health professionals but she was still prone to suicidal thoughts.

She had also gone to the level crossing on a previous occasion to investigate how she could kill herself.

Husband Hugo told the deputy district coroner the couple had met at school and were married in 1996.

He said, “She was outgoing and had a bubbly personality, but perhaps insecure deep down.

“My wife had no depressive illnesses before the birth of our son but the year after his birth she suffered from postnatal depression and went to the GP for help.”

Two days before her death Mr McCloskey travelled to Birmingham on business and received a phone call from Alison to say she was not feeling well.

He said he asked her if he should come home but she said she would be ok.

The next day he returned home and she told him she ‘wasn’t going to do anything silly’.

Sadly the next day she left the house at around 11.30am without telling her husband and drove to Thornwell Road on the A27 to Upper Dicker and Hailsham, and parked on the level crossing.

The inquest heard the train driver saw her car from a mile away and sounded his horn and applied the brakes immediately.

Mrs McCloskey made no attempt to move the car and the train crashed into the vehicle.

She died at the scene.

Joanne Pratt, deputy district coroner, recorded a verdict of suicide.