Study fears led to fatal bridge jump

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A UNIVERSITY student worried about his coursework committed suicide by throwing himself from a Doncaster motorway bridge into the path of a truck.

Matthew Peter Gibson was seen by witnesses to deliberately vault over the railings on a footbridge over the M18 at Hatchell Wood, Bessacarr, in January of last year, a Doncaster inquest was told.

The 21-year-old, who lived with his family in Cantley Manor Avenue, Cantley, had talked of self-harm but had not made any firm declaration about killing himself.

He was home for the Christmas holidays from his tourism studies at Sheffield Hallam University when he was seen to jump onto lane one of the south-bound carriageway of the M18 where he was hit by a lorry driven by a Sheffield man.

His injuries were described as unsurvivable.

Recording a verdict of suicide, Doncaster Deputy Coroner Fred Curtis told Matthew’s mother: “I am very sad to be conducting this inquest on a young man who was well advanced in his studies and couldn’t complete them.”

The student was described as anxious and concerned about his course. On the day he died his brother said he was “frantic”.

Matthew couldn’t find his car keys so he said he was taking a walk to clear his head.

Just after 11.30am a witness near the bridge saw him “effectively vault over the railings” and into the path of the lorry which had no chance of avoiding him.

“There is no question of this being an accident and no third party was involved. It seems to me given the background of anxiety and stress, and the swift and purposeful movement, the only conclusion I can draw is that he did intend to kill himself,” said Mr Curtis.