A PEDESTRIAN who died in a horrific collision on East Reach, Taunton, threw himself under a bus, an inquest heard.

Passengers said Wayne Beecroft, 38, "dived" under the single-decker vehicle as it was about to turn right into Wordsworth Drive on April 22 this year.

At the inquest into his death at the Old Municipal Buildings today (December 5), West Somerset Coroner Michael Rose cleared the driver of any blame and recorded a conclusion of suicide.

The inquest heard Mr Beecroft, who lived at the Alexevia Caravan Park in Ruishton, had a history of mental health problems.

On the day of the collision he was due to attend an appointment at Foundation House on Wellsprings Road but never turned up.

Instead, he was spotted 'darting' between traffic at the bottom of East Reach at around 3pm.

Motorist Raymond Bing said: "As I was about to bear left I saw the chap by the railings. He darted in front of me and then he went back [to the railings] and then darted again."

Patricia Bawler, who was one of 12 passengers on First bus' number 4 service, said she saw Mr Beecroft dive under the wheels.

"The next thing was a thud," she said. "It was no accident."

Driver of the bus, Nigel Sharp, described seeing Mr Beecroft "dodging" the traffic while he waited at the lights but then lost sight of him as he went to turn right.

He said: "There was nothing I could have done."

Mr Beecroft died at the scene from traumatic head injuries.

Coroner Mr Rose said the driver was just in the "wrong position at the wrong time."

He added: "It will be a degree of mystery why Wayne Beecroft took this action. It is a tragic story. 

"Something snapped that day."

Police closed the road for more than four hours after the incident and there were long tailbacks for motorists through the town centre.

After his death, neighbours paid tribute to a quiet man.

Marion and Fred Hawkins, who lived next door, said: “We knew him quite well, but he kept himself to himself.

“He was a lot younger than most people on the site, but he’d always say hello when we saw him on his bike.”