Woman took her own life after setting fire to her car in Sheffield

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A former promising law student died in a fireball after setting her car alight in Sheffield, an inquest heard.

The remains of Jaclyn Olejniczak, aged 25, were found by firefighters in the blazing car on an industrial estate off Vulcan Road, near Meadowhall, last February.

Shortly beforehand she had visited a nearby petrol station and was seen to be shaking as she bought a petrol can and a lighter.

The inquest heard Miss Olejniczak had dropped out of her Sheffield University law degree course and suffered anxiety and depression, feeling she was a failure. She had split up from her boyfriend and felt ‘under pressure’ at the GP surgery where she worked as a receptionist in Clay Cross, the court heard.

Two fire engines were sent to the blaze on February 23 last year after a car was reported to be alight.

Ade Robinson, a South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service investigator, said a petrol can with fuel still in it was on the passenger seat.

“It was clear from the damage that the fire started in the rear passenger seat where there was a strong smell of petrol,” he said.

“Our conclusion was the fire had been started deliberately by Jaclyn.”

Miss Olejniczak was declared dead at the scene.

Her medical history showed she had been diagnosed with depression and had taken overdoses and attempted self-harm before.

Her best friend Hannah Burn said: “She was a quiet, selfless person with a fantastic sense of humour but had confidence issues and she always thought she wasn’t good enough.”

On the day of the tragedy Jaclyn, who lived with her parents at Hazel Avenue, Chesterfield, had gone to see her dementia-suffering dad who lived in a nursing home.

Assistant coroner Louise Slater concluded Miss Olejniczak had taken her own life.