‘Bye, you won’t see us again’ were an elderly couples’ last words to their daughter as they jumped onto a train track, held hands, and waited for the freight train to end their lives.
Peter Smith, 80, and his 78-year-old wife, Betty, of Cherry Willingham, Lincoln in the U.K., were married for more than 50 years and had one child together, 50-year-old Jane.
When Jane moved back in with her parents due to sanitation issues at her home, it put a financial strain on the couple, forcing Peter and his wife Betty to pay $500 per week to support Jane, according to a family friend.
Irish Mirror reported that the elderly couple committed suicide by train just two short months after their daughter moved back in with them.
Peter and Betty stood on the train tracks holding hands as a freight train travelling 45 mph was headed in their direction. The driver of train stated that he sounded his horn, but the elderly couple wouldn’t budge.
Unable to stop, the freight ran over the elderly couple, killing them instantly.
Jane admitted that before her parents committed suicide by train, an argument took place between her and her mother.
A statement of hers was read at the inquest, which she did not attend, describing what happened the day the elderly couple uttered their last words.
“I had asked if I could store some of my things in the spare room. She did not want me to as it would have made her house untidy.
“Later my father said he wanted to go into town. As they left, my father turned to me and said, ‘Goodbye, you won’t see us again’.”
According to Sgt. Shanie Erwin of British Transport Police, Betty and her husband had been thinking of suicide for quite some time. Sgt. Erwin proffered at the inquest that she had got in contact with someone who had spoken to Betty weeks before her train suicide.
“During the conversation she [Betty Smith] was very upset. She described how she had thought about jumping off a railway bridge but persuaded her not to.
“She was complaining that it was costing in the order of £500 a week to feed and look after her daughter.”
Although the couple died on July 9, 2014, the Central Lincolnshire coroner, Stuart Fisher, recently gave his verdict about the incident at hand. He stated as follows.
“This is clearly an immensely tragic case.”
“I have formed the view that looking at this case in the round that it is appropriate that I make a finding that Mr. and Mrs. Smith clearly did form an intention that they were going to take their own lives.”
For more information on suicidal thoughts, visit the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline’s website here.
[Image courtesy of Denise Rosser/Flickr]