A POPULAR factory worker told her family she felt let down by health workers the day before she died on a country road, an inquest heard yesterday.

Julia Sellars, 34, sustained fatal head injuries when she was struck by a car in Burtree Lane, Darlington, on February 8 last year.

Deputy coroner Brenda Davidson recorded a verdict of accidental death after the hearing at the Education Development Centre, Spennymoor.

David Sellars, Ms Sellars’ father, said his daughter had gone from being a “happy, confident and healthy” woman to one struggling with stress and depression in the three months leading up to her death.

He said Ms Sellars, who worked as a team leader at Magnet kitchens in Darlington, had expressed disappointment with the level of support she was given by a mental health crisis team which visited her on the day before her death.

She had been taking St John’s Wort, a herbal anti-depressant, and was told it would be a week until it would be safe for her to take a new prescription drug.

Her father said: “They left and Julia said ‘is that it? What a waste of time’.”

The following evening, at about 9.50pm, Ms Sellars was driven to her father’s home by her stepfather, but after the car pulled up at the house, she ran off into the night.

Her family launched a frantic search, but Ms Sellars reached Burtree Lane, which runs between the A68 and North Road, where she was struck by a car driven by Mark Jatwa.

Mr Jatwa, who lives in Stockton, but works in West Auckland, said he was driving home following his shift.

He said he was on the unlit road, which has no footpaths, when he saw something ahead, braked and swerved, but it was too late. “As I reacted, either Julia has slipped or she came out to the car,” he said.

Police inspector Mark Hall said Mr Jatwa could not be held at all responsible.

Mrs Davidson concluded that there was insufficient evidence to prove that Ms Sellars, of Vaughan Street, Harrowgate Hill, Darlington, had committed suicide.

After the hearing, Mr Sellars said: “We are pleased with the outcome and we are hoping it will bring closure.”

A spokeswoman for Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust, which worked with Ms Sellars, sent condolences to her family.

She added: “We have met with them and have looked into their concerns and plan to meet with them again now the inquest has concluded to discuss our findings.”