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'No sign' Gravesend teenager would take his own life after running in front of HGV on A2, inquest hears

The parents of a 16-year-old who ran in front of a lorry have said their lives have changed forever after his sudden death.

Ekam Sadana showed no signs of suicidal thoughts, low mood or depression.

But on September 24, he died after stepping in front of the HGV on the A2.

Speaking after his inquest his parents, Gagan and Arshan Gulati, said: "We will never be able to recover and come to terms with what has happened. Life has changed forever for us.

"Words will never be enough to express how challenging it is to live knowing he's not coming back.

"Ekam was a boy with a very kind, generous, and compassionate heart.

"He was a loving brother and a devoted son, a person who got on well with everyone in his family and friends.

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"From a very small age, he was a big fan of Lego and progressed his way to building complex Lego technic cars. He was passionate about cars. As a piano player, he progressed through a lot of grades."

The inquest at County Hall in Maidstone heard how the Gravesend Grammar School pupil was reported missing after making a worrying call to his parents while they were away in Paris.

The car-loving 16-year-old, of Valley Drive, Gravesend, was staying with his sister at his friend's house with their grandparents.

A statement read to the court detailed how he spoke to his mother at around 3am, telling her he was feeling "low and lonely".

A police report from investigator Detective Sergeant Kendal Moore outlined how after Ms Gulati received the disturbing call she and her husband rang police, friends and family to check on Ekam.

"He had a loving and supportive family and everything appeared to be normal..."

However, the youngster had left his phone in the garden with a screenshot of a note as the screensaver.

It said: "If you're reading this I've killed myself. I'm so sorry to my family but I can't handle this life.

"There is no one reason why I have done this. I physically can't go on. It hurts so much. Sorry."

Further evidence from DS Moore explained how lorry driver David Lowe was heading to Dover when "within a split second" he saw a shape dart out in front of his vehicle near the junctions for Cobham and Gravesend before hearing a "bang and a thud".

He stopped a bit further up the road in a safe place and immediately rang 999. As he walked back to the site of the incident, which was around five minutes away, police were already there.

An inquest at County Hall in Maidstone heard how the 16-year-old left a suicide note for family and friends to find
An inquest at County Hall in Maidstone heard how the 16-year-old left a suicide note for family and friends to find

Ekam died at the scene. His cause of death was given as multiple injuries as a result of a road traffic collision.

His parents were informed on the phone by a family friend who was out looking for him and had spotted the emergency service presence and Ekam's distinctive curly hair.

DS Moore told assistant coroner Alan Blunsdon the London-born teenager made worrying searches online about suicide.

Mr Blunsdon described the case as a "tragic and unforeseen" event.

Concluding a ruling of suicide, he said: "Ekam was a young student doing well in his studies.

"He had a loving and supportive family and everything appeared to be normal. The only concern, if you can call it that, was a sore throat he had.

"There was no evidence he was suffering with depression, low mood or had suicidal thoughts.

"Life is precious..."

"His parents could never have possibly known the tragic decision Ekam would make that morning."

Ekam's parents had no idea how much Ekam was struggling and have encouraged others to speak out if they need help.

They said: "The only thing we'd like kids, teenagers or younger, to know is that no matter what they are struggling with please know that they are loved.

"They are precious to their parents, siblings, families, and everyone around them.

"Please talk and remember we are on your side and together we can get through the tough things. Life is precious.

"We are thankful to have the support of close friends and family members who have been providing emotional support through this tough time.

"Ekam was loved by all the family and friends both adults and children equally and is missed by all."

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