A loving and popular pensioner died after she jumped from a motorway bridge so she would not be a “burden” to her husband.
Mrs Rose Carr (80) was seen by mobile patrol police officers lowering herself off the Reedyford footbridge on the M65 before falling to her death on November 8th.
An inquest at Burnley Coroner’s Court heard from her heartbroken husband, Mr Harry Carr, who said his wife had been suffering from memory problems.
He told the hearing that, on the morning of her death, he had awoke to find his wife missing, and a note from her asking for forgiveness.
The bridge was a 20-minute walk from their home in Ashfield Close, Barrowford.
Mr Carr said: “Her memory was a lot worse than anybody realised. I think this upset her.
“She thought she was becoming a burden, but she wasn’t. I’d have put up with it forever.”
Mother-of-three Mrs Carr was well known in the Nelson area.
She worked in a Barrowford mill for many years and later ran a stall with her husband in Nelson Open Market for 15 years called Brutopia, supplying equipment and ingredients to make your own beer and wine.
The devoted couple were also keen walkers – Mrs Carr was described in the inquest as being “fit and healthy”. She was also a member of the Friends of Victoria Park.
The inquest heard Mrs Carr had recently been admitted to Royal Blackburn Hospital after taking too many co-codamol tablets.
PC Neil Goodison, of the road policing unit, said: “I was on mobile patrol with a colleague near Junction 14 when a passing car flashed us. We could then see somebody on the bridge.
“We drove onto the sliproad and could see a lady roll herself over the barrier. I instantly put our flashing blue lights and a colleague ran out to stop traffic.
“As soon as I did that, I could see the person lower herself off the bridge and drop like a rag doll onto the motorway.”
An off-duty nurse arrived on the scene but it was clear Mrs Carr had suffered severe injuries.
A post-mortem examination carried out by pathologist Dr Walid Salman confirmed Mrs Carr died from multiple injuries.
East Lancashire Coroner Mr Richard Taylor told Mr Carr: “Your wife must have been under the misapprehension she was a burden. She must have been very worried and no doubt embarrassed about her memory problems. In that frame of mind she took her own life.”