THE driver of a bus carrying sea cadets home from a trip could do nothing to prevent the death of a man who dived in front of him, an inquest has heard.

Andrew Banks-Jones, 48, of West Street, Fishguard, died on February 17 at a junction near Scleddau.

At an inquest on Thursday, July 25, the court heard from Jeremy Davies, the coroner’s officer for Dyfed-Powys Police in Pembrokeshire, who outlined the events leading up to Mr Banks-Jones’ death.

Mr Davies told the court that Mr Banks-Jones had lived with his partner and their family.

He had suffered from a trauma in his life and had mental health issues which became worse in the time leading up to his death.

On the day of his death, Mr Banks-Jones was seen on the roadside verge at a junction between the A40 and a byroad to Manorowen.

Lee Jenkins was behind the wheel of a coach bringing sea cadets home to Pembrokeshire from a drill in Swansea, and was driving on the A40 from Scleddau to the Rafael roundabout outside Fishguard.

According to Mr Davies, the driver took evasive action when Mr Banks-Jones stepped out into the A40, but did not expect the pedestrian to dive in front of the bus.

A witness statement from Liam Murphy, an adult volunteer on the bus, confirmed what had happened.

“The driver shouted out as a person stepped out into the road,” said Mr Murphy.

“I have been so startled by what I saw and I feel sorry for the coach driver. He had the best reactions of a man and could not do anything to avoid hitting him.”

In another witness statement, Kevin Rose said he had been driving along a nearby road earlier the same day and had to take evasive action to avoid a man who tried to step out in front of his car.

Inspector Shane Davies, a collision investigation officer for Dyfed-Powys police gave expert testimony at the inquest, describing driving conditions as good, with no surface water on the road.

He said that there was a mechanical fault with the coach’s braking system, but this had not contributed to the collision.

He added: “It would appear in this instance the driver of the coach has only been left with a minimal amount of time to react to what was happening in front of him.”

A post-mortem by Dr Daniel Howser said the cause of death had been due to “multiple injuries” caused by a road traffic collision.

The coroner for Pembrokeshire, Mark Layton, said Mr Banks-Jones had longstanding mental health issues and in the period leading to his death he suffered a decline in mental health.

He said: “It is clear from the evidence I have read and heard that Mr Banks-Jones has dived into the path of a bus and I conclude he did so with the intention of ending his own life.

“The driver of the coach had no opportunity whatsoever of avoiding the collision and I conclude that Mr Banks-Jones took that action to end his own life. I record a conclusion of suicide.”

The Samaritans can be contacted at any time of day or night by calling 116 123.