A MENTALLY ill man who believed that the police were out to get him died after attempting to run from an officer on the M3.

Nathan Sedgewicke died after being struck by multiple vehicles as he dashed across the motorway between junctions 12 and 13.

The 41-year-old had been diagnosed with paranoia last summer and had been released a week before his death from a hospital for people with mental health conditions.

An inquest heard how the grocery worker’s blue BMW had been stopped by police after it had been travelling at only 40mph. PC Adrian Hughes said: “Almost immediately he got out and ran towards the central reservation. I shouted ‘I’m a police officer, stop’. But he did not respond.”

Mr Sedgewicke then ran across the unlit motorway, and jumped the barrier into oncoming traffic.

“I crossed to the central reservation and trained my torch on him to give him the best chance of getting across and tried to alert oncoming traffic”, PC Hughes added.

Mr Sedgewicke was clipped by two vehicles on the southbound carriageway before crossing onto the northbound carriageway and then being hit by a silver Nissan Micra and a red Peugeot 107.

Alison Harwood, driver of the Micra, said: “I saw a face looking into the car, then everything went black and then the next thing I knew I had been in a crash.”

Louise Jones, driver of the Peugeot, said: “I saw something in the road I thought was cardboard, I had no time to avoid it, it made a thud noise and I realised it was a person.”

Collison investigator PC Stephen Wootton said they would have had only one to two seconds to react to Mr Sedgewick being in the road, and that the accident last September was unavoidable.

Pathologist Adrian Bateman said Mr Sedgewicke died from multiple injuries including significant trauma to his chest, head, spine and pelvis.

A report from toxicologist Peter Streete revealed Mr Sedgewicke was sober at the time of his death and had possibly stopped taking his medication.

Mr Sedgewicke had been voluntarily sectioned under the Mental Health Act a month before after an incident in which he was found walking in the road.

He had been trying to get into cars to escape from paramedics and police who had been called after Mr Sedgewicke, who was from Slough, had become aggressive after a bad reaction to medication.

Psychiatrist Dr Ravi, who treated Mr Sedgwicke, from Slough, said he suffered from stress induced psychotic episodes in which he misinterpreted the world around him and believed that people were out to get him.

Theresa Wyles from Berkshire NHS Trust said: "There was no root cause identified which could have prevented Nathan from taking the actions he did.”

Coroner Grahame Short concluded that Mr Sedgewicke’s death was a result of a road traffic accident.

After the inquest his family said: “We do not blame the police for what happened, they have been outstanding since and were only doing their job.”