Jill Pirrie's police chase death sparks flood of donations

DONATIONS are flooding in for the son of nurse Jill Pirrie, who was killed on Thursday night after she was hit by a car involved in a police chase.

Monday, 16th May 2016, 6:23 am
Updated Monday, 16th May 2016, 7:32 am
Jill Pirrie

Thousands of pounds have been raised to help the young son of the nurse killed after being run down by a car being chased by the police.

A fundraising appeal was launched by her colleagues at Edinburgh Royal Infirmary over the weekend in memory of 33-year-old Jill Pirrie – and has already collected more than £4000 in the space of 24 hours.


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Floral tributes left for Jill Pirrie, who was killed when she was hit by a car which was being chased by police. Picture: Neil Hanna

Ms Pirrie lived alone with her five-year-old son Matthew, who is being supported by his “doting” father and wider family.

Tributes to Ms Pirrie have been led by her mum as police wait to speak to the driver of the car which ploughed into the nurse as she walked home from work at the hospital. The male driver, believed to be just 14 years old, remains in a serious condition at the ERI.

He is one of four people – all understood to be teenage boys – who were in the Ford Ka as it was pursued by police along Old Dalkeith Road on Thursday night.

Ms Pirrie was less than a half a mile from her home on Ravenswood Avenue when she was killed.

Floral tributes left for Jill Pirrie, who was killed when she was hit by a car which was being chased by police. Picture: Neil Hanna

Her mum Brenda McDonald said her family had been left distraught and insisted they would not rest until they knew the full story behind the crash. Ms McDonald said: “Jill was loved by everyone who knew her, but most especially by her close family.

“We will miss her more than words can express.

“She was the kindest person on Earth, she was simply a wonderful person and will always be in our hearts.

“Jill was born in Edinburgh and was an Edinburgh girl through and through.”

She added: “I want to know exactly what happened and I fully expect the police to answer my questions.

“I want every single detail, there is no way that I am going to allow things to be left like this. I am in a terrible state as are all of the family.

“It is just impossible to describe the hole this has left in our lives.”

Ms Pirrie didn’t live with Matthew’s father, but her mother said she had been in a separate relationship for the last couple of years.

The theatre nurse is also survived by her brother Keith and dad Ralph.

Ms McDonald said: “She was in a very happy relationship and she had been for a couple of years, but she also got on well with Matthew’s daddy who had access visits.

“Matthew will be looked after and there is no shortage of people who will look after him. It’s our job now to protect him from the worst of this.

“He has a loving father who dotes on him and loving grand-parents.”

Miss Pirrie was a pupil at Tynecastle High School and went on to university to study for a degree in biomedical science. However, it wasn’t long before she realised her calling was nursing and switched her course – completing her qualifications at Edinburgh Napier.

Colleagues at the Royal Infirmary have now launched a fundraising campaign to help support Matthew.

They raised more than £4000 over the weekend, and donations have been continuing to flood in.

Amy Williams, who set up the GoFundMe page entitled “R.I.P our sweet Jill”, wrote on the page: “We, Main Recovery, are deeply saddened and shocked by the loss of our dear colleague, friend and member of our Recovery family. We cannot begin to imagine what her family are going through at this sad time.

“Jill was a well loved part of our team and the hospital as a whole.

“She had the best sense of humour, she was caring and loving, she was a fantastic nurse, a supportive friend and will be hugely missed by the many who knew and loved her. We are raising funds to pass on to her family at this sad time.”

Floral tributes were left throughout the weekend on Kingston Avenue, close to where the accident happened. Neighbours said Ms Pirrie had only recently moved to the Craigmillar area from Slateford so her son could attend her first-choice primary school.

The police investigation is ongoing, but witnesses have told how the Ford Ka was being chased at a high speed by a police car with its sirens flashing when the collision happened on Old Dalkeith Road, not far from the Aaron Lodge.

It is understood the car attracted the attention of police because it had no insurance.

Ms Pirrie was rushed back to the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary, where she had finished her shift minutes earlier.

Just hours before Ms Pirrie was killed, she had been posing for photographs to celebrate International Nurses Day with her work colleagues.

Unison’s Scottish health chief, Tom Waterson, revealed that as well as the Main Recovery team raising money for Ms Pirrie’s family, a few of the members were also planning to take part in the Great Scottish Walk next month in her memory. He said: “This is extremely sad, it is particularly sad that a member of the caring profession who had just finished a shift at work was killed this way. Our thoughts and sympathy go out to her family, including her young boy.

“Some of the Recovery Team are planning on doing a 10K walk in her memory.”

The Police Investigations and Review Commissioner (PIRC) has also begun an investigation into the crash as a police car was involved.

A PIRC spokeswoman said: “PIRC investigators attended the scene in the early hours of the morning and a report will be submitted to the Crown Office in due course.”