A TEENAGE driver wept as she told an inquest how a schoolboy threw himself in front of her car.

An inquest in Alton heard how 15-year-old Sam Belcher, of Bowmonts Road, Pamber Heath, had been seeing mental health professionals, but had ended the sessions by mutual consent The coroner was told that The Hurst Community College pupil died after throwing himself in front of a passing car near his home, with his arms outstretched.

Shannon McGarrigle sobbed as she told how she had tried to avoid Sam when he jumped at her black Ford KA as she drove home along Silchester Road, in Pamber Heath, from a night out on December 21 last year.

Miss McGarrigle, then aged 18, had spotted the schoolboy running along the side of the road when he turned and dashed in front of her.

She said: “He was metres away when he ran out in front of my car with his arms out in front of him, like Superman.”

Paramedics arrived at the scene after Miss McGarrigle called 999, and tried to resuscitate Sam, but he was declared dead at the scene.

The cause of death was given as severe head injuries. Police investigators said there was nothing that Miss McGarrigle could have done to avoid hitting Sam.

The inquest heard that Sam had complained of feeling low in the months before his death and had been referred to mental health professionals by both his GP and his school.

He had told of prior suicide attempts, and had also spoken of killing himself by throwing himself at a car.

The Hurst headteacher Malcolm Christian told the hearing that Sam had previously been a “pleasant pupil, who always appeared bubbly and happy”, with a good academic record, but that his attendance had slipped in the two months before his death and the school had flagged up their concerns about him.

Dr Suzanne Gray, a psychologist, who worked with Sam and his mother, Claire, said that while Mrs Belcher had put his low mood down to a prior experience of bullying, her son had not agreed.

She added: “In the last few months, he had an increasingly low mood. He said ‘I can’t find joy in life any more’, and ‘I wake up thinking this day is not going to go my way’.”

The inquest heard Sam had come to the end of his sessions with Dr Gray, by mutual consent, and that when he was re-referred to her team in November 2012, he had to join the back of the queue and was not seen again prior to his death.

Recording a verdict of suicide, North East Hampshire coroner Andrew Bradley raised concerns that Sam was not seen sooner on his re-referral.

“He’s effectively been taken off the conveyor belt and his re-referral puts him back at the beginning of the conveyor belt,” he said.

“I find this incomprehensible and it is certainly something that bears examination because the situation for Sam is clearly one of plummeting downhill and he is not handling whatever is causing him trouble.”

l The Samaritans are available for anyone in any type of distress on 08457 90 90 90.