A MAN who died in a road traffic incident on the A419 was contemplating suicide hours before the incident, an inquest has heard.

Ryan Rooney was killed around 9.30pm on September 13 of last year after a car travelling southbound along the dual carriageway by the Blunsdon Bypass hit him as he was walking across the middle of the inside lane of traffic.

The 31-year-old landed on the grass verge by the side of the road with serious head injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene.

The driver had swerved and braked in an attempt to avoid a collision but it was too late - the inquest found that he did everything he could.

Ryan had been spotted by a witness earlier that evening leaning on a bollard by traffic lights near the Harvester and staring at passing vehicles, then climbing up an embankment that lead to the dual carriageway by the Blunsdon slip-road.

In a statement read out at the inquest held in Salisbury yesterday, his father Liam Rooney described Ryan as “sincere, kind, caring, strong-willed, resourceful and always looking out for others who were less fortunate.”

The inquest heard that Ryan had struggled with mental health issues and depression throughout his life.

According to his father, he “fell in with the wrong crowd at 16 and started smoking cannabis and drinking alcohol.”

This led to him being sectioned in a psychiatric ward, he then detoxed after he was released and stayed clean for several years.

Unfortunately, according to Mr Rooney: “He later became involved with an individual who persuaded him to invest in a new business – the company went broke and he lost all his money.

“This caused a downward spiral, he was sectioned four times in 2016 and made two attempts on his own life.

“As a family, we were always worried about him.”

On the day of his death, Ryan sent several texts to his father saying: “Life’s not for me, it has worn me down, I’m done, I’m all out of steam, I’m a shell, I’m going to kill myself.”

The assistant coroner for Wiltshire and Swindon, Ian Singleton, acknowledged the texts but didn’t deem the evidence he read out at yesterday’s inquest clear enough to fully establish that Mr Rooney had committed suicide.

A toxicology report showed that Ryan had what Mr Singleton described as a “cocktail of prescription and illicit drugs” in his system at the time, including cocaine, medication such as Diazepan and ibuprofen, and an unusually high amount of a prescription drug which acts as a sedative.

This, Mr Singleton reasoned, “would, on the balance of probability, have lead to a degree of disorientation which was exacerbated by being in unfamiliar surroundings.”

After the collision, the driver pulled over and called 999 when he noticed that Ryan wasn’t breathing and had no pulse.

Ryan was born in Ireland and lived in Abergavenny – it is unclear why he had been in the Swindon area or why he had walked across the northbound lanes of the A419 before climbing over the central reservation and travelling across the southbound lanes.

Mr Singleton gave a narrative verdict and asked the family liaison officer to pass on his condolences to Mr Rooney’s family.