Traffic chaos as woman threatens bridge jump

A WOMAN threatening to jump from a bridge on Wednesday brought traffic to a standstill on a busy Hastings road.

Thursday, 7th October 2004, 3:46 pm
Updated Thursday, 7th June 2018, 11:20 pm

The middle aged woman, thought to be from Hastings, climbed over safety railings where The Ridge West crosses over the A21.

She then held on with one hand and dangled a leg over the 30 foot drop as she shouted at angry drivers. And more than one witness, as they sat in the traffic for an hour while others got out of their cars, responded with shouts of "jump".

The police were called to the scene at 11.40am - officers on the A21 blocked the road for an hour while officers on the bridge tried to persuade the woman to climb back over on to the road.

One witness said: "We asked the policeman what they were going to do, if they were going to move a lorry underneath her to break her fall and he said yes. But they can't seem to get it near her. She keeps shouting stay back and she keeps moving about, but I don't know why she is doing it."

The Observer watched as a police officer on the bridge tried for almost an hour to persuade the woman not to jump, but she appeared to become more agitated, at one point almost being sick.

The traffic backed up for miles and also blocked surrounding roads, including The Junction. Many drivers chose to try alternative routes, but a constant stream was stuck on the A21 for the duration.

The drama finally ended after an hour at 12.40pm when a paramedic, who was able to approach her, persuaded her to end the situation and helped her back over where she was taken to the ambulance.

A police spokesman said: "Police received a call at 11.40am to a woman being on the wrong side of the railings over the main A21 road. Officers went to the scene to speak with the woman and attempted to persuade her to come over to the safe side. The road had to be closed and diversions set up until she was persuaded at 12.40pm.

"The woman was arrested on a public nuisance charge and received a caution."