M25 crash death: Woman cleared by reason of insanity

Daniel Dayalan Image copyright Metropolitan Police
Image caption Daniel Dayalan died at the scene of the crash

A woman who caused a fatal three-car collision on the M25 has been found not guilty of causing death by dangerous driving by reason of insanity.

Jill Higgins, 54, was driving at speeds of up to 127mph in her Range Rover Evoque before she hit a Ford and then a Vauxhall Corsa driven by 60-year-old Daniel Dayalan on 23 September 2017.

Mr Dayalan's car was forced into a concrete central reservation barrier.

He died from multiple injuries at the scene near Enfield.

His wife Niromi Dayalan, a passenger in the car, was seriously hurt.

Ms Higgins' erratic driving had forced other drivers to take evasive action to avoid near misses as she appeared to drive "out of control" just before the crash, jurors at the Old Bailey heard.

Psychotic symptoms

Michelle Heeley, prosecuting, told the court there was no dispute the driving was dangerous and caused the injuries to Mr and Mrs Dayalan.

She said the real issue was Ms Higgins' state of mind at the time.

Ms Higgins, from Warrington, Cheshire, was seen "behaving oddly" after the collision and was admitted to hospital under the Mental Health Act, jurors were told.

The widow later told police she had experienced difficulties since her husband had died through illness.

Two psychiatrists concluded she was suffering from an episode of mania with psychotic symptoms at the time of the fatal collision.

Andrew Nuttall, defending, said Ms Higgins' health had improved but she was "traumatised" by what had taken place.

He said she felt some responsibility "even though she didn't know what she was doing at the time".

She was also found not guilty of causing serious injury by dangerous driving by reason of insanity.

Judge Richard Marks directed that she should be subject to a two-year supervision order.

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