Man dies in Doncaster footbridge plunge tragedy

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A man has died and a woman was talked to safety during separate incidents which brought Doncaster to a standstill twice yesterday.

Police were called to the A1(M) near Warmsworth yesterday afternoon following reports of a man falling onto the carriageway from a footbridge.

The road was closed in both directions between junctions 35 and 36 following the tragedy at around 3.10pm. Police were called but the man was pronounced dead at the scene and motorists were being advised to avoid the area during rush hour.

Meanwhile, earlier in the day a woman threating to jump from a Doncaster rooftop also caused disruption.

And Doncaster residents condemned the handful of internet trolls who urged the woman to jump while others expressed sympathy for her plight.

The town centre was gridlocked during yesterday’s morning rush hour after police sealed off Trafford Way from just before 4am.

Pedestrians were allowed to cross the empty dual carriageway to get to and from the railway station and transport interchange, but there was no vehicular access to the station until about 10.45am, when a police spokesman confirmed ‘the 27-year-old woman on the Frenchgate Centre is now safe and with specially-trained staff’.

Earlier, a hooded figure could be seen perched on the edge of the centre’s roof-top car park, facing the derelict Grand Theatre.

The woman was last night was being assessed under the Mental Health Act.

Four ambulances were stationed next to the White Swan pub in case the incident turned into an emergency – which led tosome Facebook users criticising the amount of resources expended on the incident.

Police said they were aware one man urged the woman to ‘jump, jump, jump’, while others complained about the disruption to their work journey.

Superintendent Eddie Murphy, of South Yorkshire Police, said: “I would like to thank the people of Doncaster for their patience after what has been a very frustrating commute for many.

“We appreciate the road closures caused a significant level of disruption, but we had a duty of care to ensure the safety and wellbeing of the individual involved.”

It is understood the woman was also talked down from a 13th-floor balcony at a Doncaster high-rise block by police after threatening to jump last Thursday.

Officers were called to Sandbeck House, Balby Bridge, along with South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue and ambulance crews, at about 3am after concerns were raised. She agreed to go back inside after speaking to officers.

Hundreds of people flocked to social media to comment on the incident, with some criticised for ‘vile’ comments.

Cherry Keates, an administrator at Doncaster Garage Door Centre, said: “You must be in a really bad way to contemplate doing that..”

Hotel manager Ryan Docherty said: “Some comments are vile. No-one knows what has happened in her life – depression is an illness, I hope she gets the help she deserves, some people are so nasty.”

Hayley Fitzgerald said: “This was an attention-seeking act that the woman needs help addressing. The main thing is she is down and safe and those who helped her are safe too. I hope she gets the help she needs to prevent her from going to this extreme again. She should accept all help and support offered. I know most slate the doncaster mental health and crisis team, but I can say without them I wouldn’t be here now. The help is there, you just have to want to take it.”

And Claire Elizabeth Jennings posted: “Every one of us could end up with a mental health problem at some point in our lives. Unless you have been through it, you haven’t got a clue. Whatever your opinion, just remember she is a human being. When talking about someone, imagine how you would feel it if was your mum/sister/auntie etc and have a bit of respect.”