A York man died after being found unresponsive in his car, despite desperate efforts of members of the public and paramedics to save him.
Andrew Swan, 47, was discovered collapsed in his red Mini parked on Intake Lane, towards Hagg Wood in Dunnington, at about 4.30pm on 13 July 2022, an inquest heard.
A man walking his dog came across the car. The driver’s door was open, and Mr Swan was sitting with his head back in the driver’s side.
The dog walker tried to rouse him but found him unresponsive. He called the ambulance and with two cyclists who had been riding along the path, administered CPR until paramedics arrived and took over.
Sadly they were unable to revive him. Shortly after 5pm he was pronounced dead.
Police found a bag containing 70 unpackaged white tablets in the car, along with empty blister packs.
The inquest heard Mr Swan, who was born in York and lived at Renshaw Gardens, had a history of mental health problems, with a diagnosis of paranoid schizophrenia.
Plans for the future
When he last met with his psychiatrist on 10 June, about a month before his death, he was assessed to be stable.
On 5 July he met with his mental health care coordinator, and no issues with his mood were noted. Mr Swan talked about plans for his future, including a camping trip later that summer.
He was also reducing his anti-psychotic medicine, amisulpride, as agreed with his care team.
No note of intent was left in the car or at his home. Mr Swan kept a diary, and in his last entry on 11 July he wrote he was unhappy about a recent gambling loss. But this wasn’t out of the ordinary, the inquest heard.
His parents, who attended the hearing in Northallerton, said their son hadn’t expressed suicidal thoughts in the days and weeks leading up to his death.
Toxicology tests found no alcohol or illegal drugs in his system. But the amount of amisulpride in his blood was at least 20 times more than a normal therapeutic dose, and at a level to cause fatality.
The post mortem recorded the medical cause of death to be amisulpride overdose.
Recording a narrative conclusion, the coroner, Catherine Cundy, found that the overdose was intentional. But she was not able to say that Mr Swan took the tablets with the intention of ending his life.
She said his intentions at the time of taking the medication remain unclear.
Where to get help
When life is difficult, Samaritans are available – day or night, 365 days a year. You can call them for free on 116 123. And the following organisations also offer advice and help