Traffic is finally back to normal on the M42 after being shut down for nearly 24 hours. According to police reports, the motorway was shut down after a man was spotted hanging on the side of a bridge and threatening to jump. Police had to shut down the motorway as they attempted to negotiate with the man.
The area of M42 that was shut down was between the M5 and junction 1. Police were called in over the weekend after motorists reported a man standing on the wrong side of the safety rails on a bridge. Negotiations went on for nearly 24 hours before they were able to get the man to come back on solid ground. The negotiations would have probably taken longer, but police could tell that they man was starting to get tired after hanging on to the side of the bridge for so long.
Although some drivers called police so they could try to save the man, other drivers actually took pictures and posted them on Twitter, along with comments about the man. Gareth Morgan, the assistant chief constable for West Mercia Police Department, said that the drivers who did that are hateful and vile. He said that some of the twitter comments said that they wanted the man to hurry up and jump so that the roadway could be reopened.
Morgan added that officers strive to do their best and protect everyone. Safety is a top priority at a time like this. The police are aware of the frustrations and the inconveniences that have been caused due to the road being shut down. However, he feels that the people who were being hateful and intolerant of the whole situation should be ashamed of themselves.
Traffic was kept moving via alternative routes that police officers set up. These routes were designed to help people bypass this stretch of road on the M42. The police knew that they were dealing with a delicate situation and did not want to rush the man because they were afraid that he would jump. Even if it did not kill him, it would have caused significant harm.
Kevin Purcell, the superintendent for North Worcestershire, said that he would also like to apologize to all of the motorists who needed to use the M42 during the past 24 hours. He, along with all of the other officers, knows that people needed to use this road but experienced some very big disruptions because of the situation. However, police have to put the safety of people first. Directing traffic away from the bridge did not put any other motorists at risk and gave police a chance to save a life.
Purcell finished up by saying that authorities pride themselves for putting safety first and resolving this matter as quickly as possible. It took a long time, but the end result was favorable. Once again, the police do apologize for all of the inconvenience this closure caused over the weekend, however, the roadway is now back open and traffic is moving freely.