A van driver attempted to save the life of a man who jumped off a bridge over the M40 in Beaconsfield after he crashed through the windscreen and landed in the cab.

On May 11, Stuart Knowles died aged 40 when he jumped from the Holtspur Top Lane overbridge onto the M40.

At an inquest at Beaconsfield Coroners’ Court yesterday (Tuesday), the court heard how witnesses attempted to save Mr Knowles’s life after he jumped from the bridge.

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Reading from a report provided by Thames Valley Police, assistant coroner Nicholas Graham said: “Thames Valley Police received a number of 999 calls reporting that a male was standing on the wrong side of the rails on the M40 overbridge near Beaconsfield.

“He had jumped and landed on a Mercedes van. The impact caused Mr Knowles to break through the windshield, landing in the cab.”

Mr Graham told the court how the driver of the Mercedes van attempted to save Mr Knowles’s life after he jumped from the bridge.

Referring to the statement of the van driver, Mr Graham said: “He witnessed the deceased jump and land on his windscreen.

“He came through the windscreen and into the cab. He pulled into the hard shoulder and helped pull him out of the cab.

“Other witnesses ran over and assisted with CPR.”

Despite the help from witnesses and emergency services, Mr Knowles had suffered serious injures and was pronounced dead on the scene.

Mr Graham told the court that in the lead-up to the incident, Mr Knowles had been struggling with mental health issues and had an appointment booked with his GP later that day.

The court also heard that Mr Knowles, who was from Beaconsfield, had recently broken up with his partner.

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Mr Graham concluded that Mr Knowles took his own life and died from the multiple injuries he sustained on impact after he jumped.

After his death, many of Mr Knowles’s friends and family paid tribute to him, laying flowers on the Broad Lane overbridge - the next bridge along on the M40.

One well-wisher said: “Stuart, I have known you all your life and will remember you forever throughout mine. May you now rest in peace. My thoughts are with all those you left behind.”

Another said: “To a living legend, gone but not forgotten.”

If you have found anything in this article upsetting or distressing, you can call Samaritans for free, 24 hours a day, on 116 123.