A lorry driver has told an inquest how he was left “distraught” after a businessman deliberately ran out in front of his vehicle on the M1 in Northamptonshire.
Robert Gibson, aged 45, was killed on February 10 after he gained access to the motorway at junction 15a on the southbound carriageway.
An inquest at County Hall in Northampton heard that Mr Gibson had been suffering some personal issues when he drove to Northampton services from his home in Woodstock, Oxfordshire.
Mr Gibson, who ran a graphic design business, met up at the service station with his stepfather David Buswell and the pair then sat in his van and chatted.
Giving evidence at the inquest, Mr Buswell said they agreed to go into the service station for a drink and both got out of the vehicle.
He said: “By the time I locked the van and walked round to the other side of the vehicle Bob had disappeared.”
Mr Buswell said he looked around the car park area for Mr Gibson and then saw the traffic on the M1 had slowed.
The inquest heard he then saw a small crowd of people had formed at the service station entrance and he was informed his stepson had collided with a lorry.
The lorry driver said he saw Mr Gibson climb over a barrier near the hard shoulder and then run into the path of his vehicle.
He said: “He started running towards me and I immediately started to brake as I could not pull out as there was a vehicle in the outside lane.
“He was looking straight at me like he wanted to be hit. I was completely stunned. You do not expect something like that to happen.”
The lorry driver said, after his vehicle collided with Mr Gibson, he pulled over into the hard shoulder.
He said: “I was shaken up and completely distraught. I just kept saying to myself there was nothing I could have done.”
John Underwood, a collision investigator for Northamptonshire Police, said he believed Mr Gibson had made a “deliberate decision” to run into the path of the lorry.
County coroner Anne Pember, recording a verdict of suicide, said: “I believe at a time when he was feeling low and depressed he made a decision he no longer wished to live.”
Samaritans are available to call free any time from any phone on 116 123 (this number will not appear on your phone bill), email email@example.com, or visit www.samaritans.org to find details of your nearest branch.