A sixteen year-old schoolboy finished his Physics exam, told a teacher he would see in the Sixth Form in September and then left his school and jumped to his death.

Matthew Cotter was 16 when he died

Matthew Cotter was 16 when he died

Matthew Cotter was on his way home after his final GCSE exam when he deviated from his usual route and walked up a flyover that went over the A38 in Plymouth in Devon.

As he walked towards the flyover, he texted a friend, indicating his change in location. When the friend realised where Matthew was, he rang him, but Matthew did not answer.

Witnesses say the 16 year-old pause on the flyover for approximately one minute; Matthew then took off his rucksack and jumped over the balustrade onto the Northbound carriageway of the busy A road beneath.

Paramedics treated Matthew at the scene and transferred him to Derriford Hospital by ambulance, but he could not be saved and died later in hospital. Recording a verdict of suicide, the coroner, Ian Arrow, noted that Matthew had sustained “multiple traumatic injuries” that Matthew sustained were self-inflicted and recorded that he had taken his own life.

Matthew’s parents, Paul and Jacqueline Cotter, have since received his exam results; Matthew gained three A*s, six As, a B and two C grades at GCSE. Neither they nor any of Matthew’s friends can explain why he took his own life.

Mr & Mrs Cotter issued a joint statement after the inqest into their son’s death:

“We are so utterly devastated by the loss of our beloved son Matthew. We would like to thank all those who have sent the hundreds and hundreds of messages of condolence, support and memories of Matthew. So many people have said how much they miss him and his wonderful smile.”