A HAMPSHIRE man took his own life by driving at high-speed into a railway bridge, an inquest heard.

Christopher Whyton had cut contact with his family after going through relationship issues before he decided to crash his silver Skoda Octavia into the bridge at Allington Lane near Fair Oak.

The incident caused chaos as his car smashed through the bridge, ending up on its roof on an embankment close to the railway line.

Other car drivers told of their horror and described a “silver flash” and a loud engine roar before seeing the car plough into the bridge with no signs of any braking.

Just minutes after the incident a train passed the scene, narrowly avoiding the damaged vehicle.

One driver going over the bridge at the time even told how she “prayed for her life” when she heard the bang.

The crash closed Allington Lane for more than five hours on June 9, causing traffic delays.

The 32-year-old from Coxford Road, Lordswood, was pronounced dead at the scene and died of multiple injuries.

Crash investigator PC Andrew McDonnell revealed Mr Whyton was not wearing a seatbelt and there was no sign of braking. He also said the vehicle was travelling over the 40mph speed limit when it struck the bridge.

No other vehicles were involved in the crash.

The car struck the north side of the bridge. Several drivers had just driven over the bridge and others had passed his vehicle moments before it happened.

Leslie Legg from Andover was driving his Mercedes van and just passed the bridge when the accident happened.

He told the court how he saw Mr Whyton’s car plough into the bridge leaving a cloud of debris and he was going “rather fast”.

One of the passengers in a vehicle on the bridge at the time was Elizabeth Tugby from Woolston, who said she prayed for her life when the car slammed into the bridge.

Mrs Tugby said: “We were just about over the bridge when I looked outside of the window I saw this silver strike come past.

"My head went down and my life flashed before my eyes. I prayed for my life and heard a bang.”

The inquest heard the the tax advisor, who worked at Wilkins Kennedy, had family problems and was also concerned that he had bipolar disorder in the weeks before his death.

Doctors believed he was suffering from anxiety issues The inquest heard Mr Whyton left his partner and formed a new relationship with a work colleague but this had broken down.

The court heard he had suicidal thoughts, but never told family members or a psychiatrist that he intended to end his life.

Giving evidence was his brother-in-law Steve Kearney who said Mr Whyton had cut contact with family members before his death.

Assistant coroner Simon Burge recorded a verdict of suicide.

Mr Burge said: “He drove at excessive speed on that road knowing there was a hazard ahead.

"He had a number of personal issues that contributed to his low mood, and I can see no other logical conclusion other than that he deliberately intended to end his life.”

In a statement after the hearing, Mr Whyton’s family said: “Chris was a beloved member of the family and is sorely missed by us all.

“However, the family wishes to express its sincere thanks to the emergency services, coroners office, Hampshire police and particularly the family liaison officer PC Martin Vine, for their professionalism, support and sensitivity during the whole incident.

“The family is appreciative to all the witnesses that came forward and helped with the investigation and are truly grateful that no one else was hurt.”