A FATHER-OF-ONE died after he suffered “unsurvivable injuries” when he fell on to St Peter’s Way and was hit by a car.
Kyle Smith, aged 26, had threatened to jump from a bridge on December 27 last year when he fell and was hit by a Saab 93 driven by Saul Harrison — despite four police officers desperately trying to hold on to him.
Bolton Coroner’s Court heard how PC Seeta Slater was making a routine drive to Scholey Street police station shortly before 7pm when she saw Mr Smith on the wrong side of the Bradford Street bridge barrier.
She called for the road to be closed and asked for back-up while trying to calm him down.
Three other officers, who were also driving past, stopped to help, but Mr Smith, who was described as “agitated and upset”, turned his back on the police and started acting like he was about to jump, an inquest heard.
PC Slater and PC Melanie Jones grabbed on to his hands and clothing while PC David Heald climbed over the barrier to grab the sleeve of his jumper.
But Mr Smith’s body weight stretched the jumper and he fell through it and on to the carriageway before being hit by a car.
Mr Smith, who had a history of alcohol dependency, had been released from police custody on a drunk and disorderly charge at about 8.30am on Christmas Day.
He made his way to his mother and stepfather Margaret and Shaun Crossley’s house in Breightmet at 10.30am, by then under the influence of alcohol, but was not seen or heard of until his death.
Home Office pathologist Dr Philip Lumb confirmed there was a significant amount of alcohol in his system which would have had some effect on his judgement and co-ordination.
Due to police contact with the victim, the case was passed on to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) but no failings were found, and the driver of the car, who was left in deep shock, could not have done anything to prevent hitting Mr Smith, the coroner’s court heard.
Recording an open verdict, area coroner Alan Walsh said: “I am sure that he did the act that caused his death. However, I am not sure that at that time he intended to take his own life.”
Mr Smith’s devastated mother, Mrs Crossley added: “I just want to say thank you to all those involved who tried to help Kyle — especially the police officers and the driver who is not here. I am so sorry.
“This will have a huge effect on your lives. I am truly grateful.”