Widow whose husband killed himself saves suicidal young mother's life

Widow, 49, whose husband killed himself saves suicidal young mother’s life by talking her down from bridge 30ft above busy main road

  • Clare Smith was driving to work when she spotted woman standing on bridge 
  • Realising the woman was about to jump 30ft, Clare pulled over and ran to her 
  • Clare, whose husband committed suicide, was able to keep the woman talking before emergency services arrived
  • For help call Samaritans for free on 116 123 or visit www.samaritans.org 

A widow whose husband killed himself has saved a suicidal young mother’s life by talking her into not jumping from a 30ft bridge over a busy main road.

Clare Smith, 49, was driving to work last Thursday when she spotted the woman standing on a bridge above the A500 in Porthill, Stoke-on-Trent.

Recognising the warning signs and realising the distressed woman was about to jump into the traffic thundering below, Clare pulled over and ran to her. 

‘As soon as I saw her, I thought I’ve got to go and check this woman’s OK,’ Clare, an office manager, said. 

Clare Smith (pictured) whose husband killed himself has saved a suicidal young mother’s life by talking her into not jumping from a 30ft bridge over a busy main road

‘I just went straight up to her and sort of grabbed her,’ she continued. ‘She was really abusive at first, having a go at me, saying: “Just leave me alone, I don’t want to talk to you, I just want to die, just let me die”.

“I said to her: “You’re not going to die on my watch, if I’ve got to stand here all day with you, I’ll stand here all day with you”. 

‘I just related to her. I said, “If you go, just think about your children”. We just had a really good chat.’

While consoling the young woman, Clare, whose children have grown up not knowing their father after he committed suicide, managed to signal for help. 

‘I was trying to alert traffic at the same time because she wasn’t going to let go of the railings. 

‘A couple of young lads pulled over in a work van,’ she said. ‘They came straight to help, but as soon as they approached her, she just went hysterical.’

Clare was driving to work last Thursday when she spotted the woman standing on a bridge above the A500 in Porthill, Stoke-on-Trent (pictured)

Claire then told the pair to stand back and hand signalled for them to call the police. 

‘We just stood there chatting. She was crying, but she was adamant she wasn’t going to let go of the railings.

‘She just cried, and just sobbed her heart out on my shoulder,’ Clare continued. ‘The next minute the ambulance turned up.

‘She was adamant she wasn’t going to go in at first, but I managed to persuade her.’

Once the woman had calmed down, Clare was allowed into the ambulance to see her – and was greeted far more warmly this time.

‘She gave me a massive hug and said: “Can I thank you so much for saving my life? If it wasn’t for you, my children wouldn’t have a mother now”.’

The ordeal brought back a lot of unhappy memories for Clare – and she was so upset afterwards that she sat beside her husband’s grave after talking the young woman into not jumping. 

‘My husband committed suicide quite a few years ago, the children have grown up not knowing their dad,’ she said. 

‘I’ve had a lot of years with a lot of heartache. It brought back a lot of bad feelings to the point where I went and sat by my husband’s grave for an hour.’    

West Midlands Ambulance Service confirmed a crew was sent to the incident at 7.17am on March 18.

A spokesman said: ‘We were called to an incident on Porthill Road.

‘One female patient was assessed once she had been brought to safety and was taken to hospital for further assessment.’

For help call Samaritans for free on 116 123 or visit www.samaritans.org 

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