A teacher is still haunted by the horrifying moment one of her troubled students called her as she stood on the Humber Bridge and jumped to her death, according to the Mirror. At approximately 7 a.m. on December 18, 2014, 17-year-old Beth Wilkinson of Hull, England, left her home and went to work as usual. However, hours later, she texted her close friends and told them that she loved them, as well as called her favorite teacher, Eileen Flanagan.
“She told me she had just rung to say thank you,” said Flanagan. “I realized there was a lot of wind in the background. I asked ‘Where are you?’ and she said, ‘I’m at the Humber Bridge, but this time I am on the other side of the railings.’ “
(1/5) ‘Fun and caring’ Beth Wilkinson’s final call to favourite teacher before Humber Bridge death – inquest http://t.co/hTUIDmLmQU
— Hull Daily Mail (@hulldailymail) September 18, 2015
“I said to her, ‘Look, Beth, we have been there before. Nothing is ever that bad that you cannot come back from it.’ I asked if she had rung her mum and she said there was a police officer coming and the phone clicked off.”
Police officials had already been alerted by an operations inspector at the bridge, who said there was someone on the wrong side of the railing. “I instinctively extended my arms to her,” said Sergeant Martin Coffey, who was “rushed to the scene” after the 999 (Britain’s emergency number) call was made. “I said, ‘Please stay there, please stay still’, but she shook her head.”
“I said, ‘Please do not do this in front of me’, which we have been told to do in our training. I was not being insensitive,” Coffey added. However, despite his desperate plea, Wilkinson jumped to her death and her body wasn’t found until May 24 by a fisherman.
That was not Wilkinson’s first visit to the bridge. She had tried to commit suicide months prior to her death, but police officers were able to talk to her to safety. Although the Wolfreton School student was surrounded by family, teachers, and close friends who loved her, she often contemplated suicide as she suffered from a mental disorder and was battling “demons” she couldn’t control, according to the Hull Daily Mail.
“Elizabeth Marie Wilkinson started to self-harm in early adolescence and was associated with CAMHS. She did not have a diagnosed psychological disorder,” said Coroner Paul Marks, who gave a vivid description of her death in a statement. “On December 18, Beth jumped from the Humber Bridge, but her body was not found until May 24.”
“Prior to jumping, she had indicated to her friends through text messages and social media saying she was going to end her life. It is likely she died from drowning or hypothermia.”
[Image courtesy of Christopher Furlong / Getty Images]