Thursday, 24th September 2009
Sacked lorry driver took his own life
Published Date: 24 September 2009
A DEPRESSED lorry driver who was off work with stress jumped off a bridge over the Parkway in Sheffield the day after receiving a letter saying he was sacked, an inquest was told.
David Booth had just been signed off sick for a second four-week period when the note arrived with his P45.
Sheffield Coroner's Court heard it was the "final straw". The following day, June 3, he made his way to a footbridge near the Asda store in Handsworth.
Witnesses saw him running and then stop, climb over the barrier and jump to his death.
Van driver Paul Callaghan said he shouted "No don't do it!" and they made eye contact. But Mr Booth pushed himself forward as if he were diving into a pool.
The tragedy came after Mr Booth, aged 58, of Finchwell Crescent, Handsworth, slid into depression after starting a new job with Newark-based firm Steve Pollard Transport.
His wife Margaret said he found it more physical than he was used to and more wearing. He would sleep in the lorry during the week because it was too far to return home.
Mrs Booth said: "He was a proud working man who was worried about his job and letting his employer down. It is so out of character, we still can't believe he has done this.
"He wouldn't touch the phone and didn't want to see anyone or talk to anyone. He said he often had thoughts of driving on to a railway line and waiting for a train. We would talk things through and they would get better."
The inquest heard Mr Booth was prescribed anti-depressants and signed off work in April and for a second four-week period on May 25.
While he was off someone from the firm rang and asked if he was going to hand in his notice, Mrs Booth said.
Then on May 29 boss Steve Pollard rang to say he was unable to pay sick pay because the firm couldn't afford it, the court heard. A letter arrived on June 2 saying he was sacked, she added.
She said: "I think that letter was the final straw, he was so upset. I told him he had family who loved him and he couldn't go down that road."
Assistant deputy coroner Donald Coutts-Wood returned a verdict that Mr Booth took his own life.
The full article contains 438 words and appears in n/a newspaper.
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- Last Updated: 24 September 2009 9:13 AM
- Source: n/a
- Location: SHEFFIELD, SOUTH YORKSHIRE