A DRIVER has relived the horrendous moment his train ploughed into a Hampshire woman on a railway track.
Depressed mum-of-two Julie Richardson deliberately walked in to the path of the train as it made its way between Romsey and Salisbury - making it impossible for the driver to stop, an inquest heard.
The court heard how the driver saw the 54-year-old walk in to the centre of the crossing and turn her back on the train he immediately engaged the emergency brake and sounded the horn.
But knowing he was powerless to stop the train from hitting her, the driver said: “I turned my seat, covered my ears and closed my eyes to prepare for the impact.”
The inquest was told how the train eventually came to a stop 100 metres away from the initial crash site.
He added: “A female dog walker had witnessed what had happened. I saw her walking off with her head in her hands.”
Southampton Coroner's Court heard how Mrs Richardson had been suffering from depression throughout her life and had become estranged from her family.
After complaining about her state of depression to her GP, she had driven from her home in Sutherland Drive, Romsey, to Crampmoor level crossing and parked her car nearby.
She had been due to attend an appointment with a psychiatric consultant days after she killed herself on February 18, the court was told.
The inquest heard how police found a note under her doormat asking for whoever found it to “look after the pets in the house”. She owned two horses, two dogs and a cat.
The court also learned that she had lost “any real contact” with her two daughters, Laura and Sophie, and had been divorced since 2003.
Delivering a verdict of suicide, Coroner Grahame Short said he believed Mrs Richardson had suffered from a severe bout of depression in the days before her death.
He said: “Despite the horn being sounded she wanted to be struck by that train. The investigation and the history of depression lead me to the conclusion that Mrs Richardson took her own life.”