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Depressed Epsom widower with cancer jumped headfirst from A3 bridge in Claygate
A retired widower battling multiple types of cancer jumped headfirst from a motorway bridge so as not to be a burden on his family, an inquest has heard.
Brian Self, 77, of Northview, Plough Road, in Epsom, jumped from the Clayton Road bridge over the A3 northbound at 9.34am on March 14.
He was treated by paramedics after he fell but was pronounced dead at the scene.
Minutes later a motorbike ridden by Dr Rajesh Parkesh, 43, from Ascot, smashed into an ambulance that had responded to the incident and was parked partly on the central reservation and partly on the road.
Dr Parkesh also sustained fatal injuries and died at the scene.
Woking Coroners’ Court, sitting yesterday, September 17, heard how several passers-by and police tried to talk Mr Self down. But he told them that he had terminal cancer, was in debt and did not want his family to see him suffering.
He did not respond to the pleas of PC Ian Madelin, who arrived on the scene three minutes before he jumped, and who told the court: "this incident was the worst one I have ever dealt with".
PC Sharon Taylor told the court she urged Mr Self not to jump in case he injured someone on the road.
Mr Self replied to her saying that was why he was going to jump onto the hard shoulder.
PC Madelin said: "He pulled his hands back to his face and behind his head and was falling head first to the ground."
Both police officers rushed to Mr Self and administered CPR for 15 minutes until paramedics arrived.
The court heard that Mr Self, who had been a delivery man and a chauffeur, was "very depressed".
He was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2006 and bladder and skin cancer in 2012. He had also been treated for foot cancer and had been fitted with a urinary catheter in January 2013.
He suffered from insomnia despite taking sleeping tablets, and was on several types of medication for his ill health. He lived with his two adult daughters after his wife Nancy died from breast cancer in 2003.
In a statement read to the court, Mr Self’s daughter Karen said he had been a "very active cyclist", "very busy and sociable and involved in charity work" until a few years ago.
She said her father had become very depressed because he had to go to the doctors repeatedly and couldn't do any of the things that made him happy. She said he seemed "a little odd" when he left the house on the morning of his death as he was "very awake, alert and distressed".
Toxicology reports showed Mr Self had been drinking before his death but he was not drunk.
Coroner Michael Burgess said a note was found on Mr Self "giving details of him and expressing contrition of what he was about to do".
He concluded that Mr Self "took his own life while suffering from cancer" and died from multiple injuries.
He said: "Mr Self intended to cause his death. He was suffering from a number of conditions which were extremely distressing and ultimately would have proved fatal."
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