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Inquest told man 'dived' in front of tanker.

Byline: Gareth Lightfoot

A man died from multiple injuries after he leapt into the path of a tanker on a major Teesside link road, an inquest heard.

John Hetyey, 31, jumped towards the oncoming heavy goods vehicle "like a goalkeeper diving for a football", the hearing in Middlesbrough was told yesterday.

He was hit by the tanker and died on the eastbound carriageway of the A174 Parkway, near the Church Lane, Ormesby pedestrian bridge, about 1.30pm on December 17 last year.

The unemployed market stall worker of Ellerbeck Way, Ormesby, had harmed himself and talked of suicidal thoughts while he was a patient at St Luke's Hospital, but was discharged four days before his death.

Eric Grimes was driving his articulated vehicle east to ICI Wilton when he saw Mr Hetyey walking towards him on the hard shoulder, PC Craig Lister told the hearing.

The driver, who did not give evidence at the inquest, told police at the time he moved away from the pedestrian but Mr Hetyey jumped in front of him.

"It was like a goalkeeper diving for a football. It was a deliberate act," PC Lister reported him as saying. "There was nothing I could do."

Teesside Coroner Michael Sheffield recorded an open verdict because he could not be certain Mr Hetyey intended to kill himself. He said the intention may have been to self-harm, not to end his life.

Consultant neuropathologist Mustansir Nurbhai said Mr Hetyey died from severe head injury, including a brain haemorrhage, with extensive skull fractures and multiple other fractures, cuts and bruises.

Dr Madhuri Rajwal, specialist registrar in adult psychiatry at James Cook University Hospital, said Mr Hetyey was treated at St Luke's between December 1 and 11.

His mood varied in their care, sometimes cheerful and positive but sometimes unhappy with talk about killing himself.

She concluded he had worries over finance, housing and social relationships but there was no evidence of significant mental illness or major depressive disorder. He was reluctant to accept help and sometimes had unrealistic expectations.

When she last saw him, two days before his death, he had not been taking prescribed medication but showed no direct suicidal ideas or plans.

Mr Hetyey's sister attended the inquest and questioned the registrar about whether his talk of suicidal thoughts should have been treated more seriously.

Speaking after the inquest, she said she was unhappy with the verdict and would be making more inquiries, but could not express any judgment.
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Publication:Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)
Date:Jul 29, 2004
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