Depressed woman leapt to her death on motorway

A BIRSTALL woman killed herself by jumping off a bridge on to the M62, Huddersfield Coroner's Court heard.

Stella Crossland, 62, of Bronte Road, was severely depressed and had attempted suicide a week earlier.

Deputy coroner Mark Hinchcliffe heard that Mrs Crossland had been a patient of the Priestley Unit, since 1999 were she was being treated for anxiety and agoraphobia.

On January 24, she took an overdose of paroxetine and aspirin and was rushed to hospital by her husband Peter. She was treated and released.

On the night of his wife’s death Mr Crossland discovered his wife was missing and fearing she would harm herself he contacted the police and his two sons, Philip and Lee.

While out searching for her Mr Crossland and one of his son’s met at the bridge, near Birstall’s J27 complex, only to discover she had jumped moments earlier.

Witness Ian Butterworth of Drighlington said he had seen the woman and had just stopped his car on Fieldhead Lane when Mr Crossland and his son pulled up behind him in separate vehicles.

He said: “The elderly man pulled up and got out of his car, he said to me ‘Don’t tell me she has jumped,’ and ran down the embankment.

Mrs Crossland jumped from the bridge onto the fast lane of the M62 westbound. She died from multiple injuries.

Recording a verdict that Stella Crossland had killed herself the coroner recommended that the railings on the bridge were raised to make it more difficult for people to climb over.