Trucker parked lorry under motorway bridge to save suicidal man about to jump

A truck driver was hailed a hero after parking his vehicle under a bridge on the M62 to stop a man from jumping.

Tom Birkett, 35, received praise from across the nation after a picture showing his truck trailer parked directly underneath the man sat on the edge of the bridge went viral.

The man’s mother, who did not wish to be named, has since spoken out to let Tom know how grateful she is as she is convinced he saved her son, who had been struggling with his mental health but is now receiving help.

But Tom refuses to believe he is a hero.

Instead, he has praised the police for the way they handled the situation.

Speaking to Leeds Live, the father of three said: “All I did was park the truck under the bridge.

“This is something that the police and charities are deal with. I got an opportunity to do my little bit but it was 0.01 per cent of what other people did.

“I basically figured out something I could do, I did my good deed for the day. The police are the ones that saved him.

“I’m not the hero of this story, I’m happy with being called a Good Samaritan.”

Recalling how the events unfolded, Tom said spotted three people on the bridge from a distance and felt that “something was not right”.

As he got closer, he noticed that one person was on the wrong side of the bars and saw his legs dangling off the bridge.

Tom, from Kendal, Cumbria, quickly moved into the hard shoulder and put on his hazard lights to alert other road users.

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After parking the trailer which has a soft top, he let officers who were at the scene know what he had done.

Tom, who was speaking to his friend on the phone during his journey on Junction 9 on the M62, said: “I clocked him, I had seen something not right from a distance, obviously as a truck driver you’re looking way ahead of everyone else.

"I had seen three people on the bridge and I just knew something didn’t seem right. Something seemed off, the spacing of the people – you see truck spotters on bridges.

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“As I was getting closer. I saw the person in the middle on the wrong side of the bars sat down with legs dangling on the motorway. The two police on the other side, that's what I could see. I just said to my mate, I think he's going to jump, I’m going to have to go.

“I just did what I did.

“That was it, I walked up to the other side of the embankment and told the officers what I had done.

“I was sat for two hours just talking to the police.”

If you are affected by any of the issues raised in this article, please call the Samaritans on 116 123.

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