By Harriet Ernstsons 10/08 Updated: 10/08 09:56
CALLS have been made for safety measures to be introduced on a town bridge after two deaths in under a month.
Nearly 600 people have joined a Facebook group demanding action after the death on Wednesday (August 8) of a man who fell from a bridge above the Bromsgrove Highway near the Headless Cross junction.
The man, who lived in the town, was pronounced dead at the scene shortly before 6pm despite the efforts of West Midlands Ambulance Service crews including an off-duty paramedic. The A448 was closed for about two hours following the incident.
A spokesman said: “No-one else is believed to have been involved but the death is being treated by police as unexplained pending the results of a post mortem.
“Residents have been informed as has the Worcestershire coroner Geraint Williams and an inquest will be opened in due course.”
The news comes less than a month after a similar incident when a man died at the same spot on July 9. His inquest has been opened and adjourned awaiting reports.
Residents are now urging Worcestershire County Council to implement safety measures, such as caging.
Rachel Lloyd said: “How many lives have to be lost before you sensibly spend some cash on covering/caging in that bridge over the Bromsgrove Highway?”
But Gemma Sterland felt an alternative solution was needed.
“If it wasn’t that bridge it would be somewhere else. We cannot go round fencing in every tall building, bridge, tree etc. It is just a sad part of life.”
Olivia Whitby, who set up the Serenity - Support and Awareness for Mental Health page on the social networking site, said the community needed to work together to support those struggling.
“Instead of asking for caging on the bridge, how about look out for people who may look as though they are going through a rough patch.”
Jon Fraser, the county council’s customer and communities manager, said: “We are currently considering options for preventing or deterring suicide attempts from bridges in Worcestershire including Musketts Way footbridge over the Bromsgrove Highway.”
Anyone with any information should call police on 101, quoting the incident reference number 557-S-080812. Residents who are struggling to cope or feeling suicidal can talk in confidence 24 hours a day, seven days a week to the Samaritans’ trained volunteers by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 08457 90 90 90.
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