Widow cleared of causing death crash ‘by reason of insanity’

A widow who caused a high-speed three-car pile-up on the M25 has been cleared of causing death by dangerous driving “by reason of insanity”.

On the evening of Saturday September 23 2017, Jill Higgins, 54, was driving at speeds of up to 127mph in her Range Rover Evoque when she crashed into a Ford C-Max and a Vauxhall Corsa driven by 60-year-old Daniel Dayalan.

Mr Dayalan died from multiple injuries and his wife Niromi Dayalan, who was his front seat passenger, suffered serious injuries.

Prosecutor Michelle Heeley has said the defendant’s car was fitted with a camera which captured the collision near Enfield, north London.

She told how Higgins’ erratic driving had forced other motorists to take evasive action to avoid near misses as she appeared “out of control” just before the crash.

The Range Rover first collided with a Ford C-Max before careering into the Corsa, forcing it into a concrete wall in the central reservation.

Ms Heeley said there was no dispute that the driving was dangerous and caused the injuries to the Dayalans.

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

Afterwards, Higgins, of Roanoke Common Lane, Warrington, Cheshire, was seen to be “behaving oddly” and was admitted to hospital under the Mental Health Act.

In a later interview with police, she told how she had experienced difficulties since her husband had died through illness.

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

A jury at the Old Bailey deliberated for an hour and a half to find Higgins not guilty of death by dangerous driving and causing serious injury by dangerous driving “by reason of insanity”.

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