Mother Donna Oettinger and her son Zackary, three, both killed in tragedy
Incident happened at Riddlesdown rail station in Purley, Croydon
A distraught mother who died with her three-year-old son after dragging him underneath a train, wrote a series of harrowing messages in which she told how she was ‘so scared I don’t know who I am any more’.
Donna Oettinger, 41, had taken blond-haired Zaki to the railway station at the end of her road during the morning rush hour. The little boy only celebrated his third birthday a week ago.
In another of the internet messages, Oettinger, who suffered anxiety attacks and depression, wrote: ‘Thank God I have my son Zaki. I owe him a lot when I get better. Love you son with all my heart xxx’.
Incident: Donna Oettinger and her three-year-old son Zackary, nicknamed Zaki, are both believed to have been killed at Riddlesdown Station near Purley, Surrey this morning
Tragedy: Donna’s child Zaki had just celebrated his third birthday according to neighbours, and was much-loved in their street just 300 metres from the station where they died
Miss Oettinger, who worked for a haulage company, was understood to have been suffering from severe depression.
She had been battling anxiety since May last year and had been prescribed medication to fight it. Unfortunately, her treatment did not seem to be working. She wrote a message to friends on Facebook which said: ‘So scared. Don’t know who I am any more.
And in another she said: ‘Feeling so depressed. Dread waking up.’
Scene: The train involved in the incident can be seen at a standstill at Riddlesdown train station near Croydon, South London, as emergency services arrive at the scene
Tragedy: Yellow markers can be seen along the railway track at Riddlesdown station where they died
The London Ambulance Service attended Riddlesdown Station but the woman and child were pronounced dead at the scene
Named: Donna Oettinger is understood to have killed herself and her son Zaki at Riddlesdown Station this morning
She added: ‘Feeling so depressed with this f****** severe anxiety. Dread waking up.
‘The tragedy took place at Riddlesdown Station near Purley, in Surrey.
One rail worker, who did not want to be named, said the driver was in a state of shock.
The mother and son were killed when they were hit by the train.
Passengers were ordered to stay in their carriages for more than 90 minutes after the double fatality. Commuter Paul Camlett, 38, said: ‘I had just arrived at the station when the station master rounded everyone up and ordered them off the platform.
‘I’m in complete shock. People were crying.’
Last night detectives were searching Miss Oettinger’s house, which is 300 yards from the station.
One neighbour said: ‘I heard about two fatalities on the radio this morning but I had no idea it was them. Poor Zaki. I’ve only just moved in but I have seen the mother a few times. Zaki was such a sweet little boy. Always so happy.
‘I saw her just yesterday, I’m a child-minder and she saw me with two screaming children – she looked at me with pity.
‘She was always rushing around with him. Last time I saw her his blanket was hanging down, I told her because it was getting dirty.
‘It’s a real tragedy. To hear this I’m just in shock.’ Miss Oettinger was understood to have lived with her mother Carol. Last night her relatives were too upset to talk about their loss.
Zaki’s father Mohamed Nasr is understood to be an Egyptian who lives in Sharm el Sheikh.
Guards: Police Officers stand outside the home of Donna Oettinger and her young son Zaki, close to the railway station where they died
Poignant: A row of teddy bears stand in a bedroom window of the house this afternoon as police investigate inside
Family: Donna Oettinger, Zaki and the man who is understood to be her former partner and Zaki’s father, who neighbours say is Egyptian
The station: Police officers walk along the platform of Riddlesdown station where a mother and her three-year-old son were killed by a rush hour train this morning
Other messages on Facebook written by Miss Oettinger indicate she was suffering from panic attacks.
In October she wrote: ‘Thank God I have my son Zaki. I owe him a lot when I get better. Love you son with all my heart x.’
Detective Chief Inspector Iain Miller, of British Transport Police, said: ‘Officers are continuing to work to establish the full circumstances surrounding the incident although early indications show that no one else was believed to have been involved.’
For confidential support on depression, call the Samaritans on 08457 90 90 90, visit a local Samaritans branch or see www.samaritans.org
Closed off: Riddlesdown station has been closed to the public while officers carry out an investigation at the scene of the incident
British Transport Police are still investigating the circumstances surrounding the incident at Riddlesdown station
Sealed off: Two police officers block the entrance to Riddlesdown Station today as forensic experts investigate the platform and tracks
SOURCE: Mail Online