Bridge jump scare

Hankham Hall Road bridge over A27
Hankham Hall Road bridge over A27

MORNING traffic ground to a halt as motorists watched in horror as a man tried to hurl himself off a bridge in the middle of rush hour.

Police were called to Hankham Hall Road after the man clambered over the bridge railings and perched precariously inches from the edge and a long drop onto the main A27 carriageway.

Officers arrived at the scene just before 8am last Friday after a string of 999 calls and drivers heading in both directions stopped while police tried to talk him down.

The traffic tailed back along Marsh Road between the Little Common and Pevensey roundabouts, with those in cars near the bridge facing an anxious wait to see if the man jumped.

One of those was trainee journalist Chrissie Daniels, on her way to college in Brighton from her Hastings home.

Speaking to the Herald, the 21-year-old said, “It was scary. We were right near the bridge and could see him hanging on the edge. He looked pale and very scared.

“The policeman nearest seemed caught in two minds as to whether to try and approach him or keep his distance.

“It was all very tense and we were really worried he was going to kill himself right there in front of us.”

Thankfully, the man climbed back onto the safe section of the bridge at around 9am – and was immediately arrested under the Mental Health Act.

The road was reopened immediately afterwards.

Anyone contemplating suicide or suffering from severe depression should contact the local branch of Samaritans on 735555.