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Last Updated: Friday, 16 September 2005, 20:36 GMT 21:36 UK
M1 gun death man 'enjoyed life'
Graham Jenkins
Graham Jenkins died on his way to hospital in Nottingham
A man who shot himself dead after a high speed police chase has been described as a "great joker" who "enjoyed life".

Graham Jenkins, 44, from Hereford, shot himself after being stopped by police who had chased him 50 miles from Thorne near Doncaster into Nottinghamshire.

He killed himself on Thursday after officers fired a baton round at him.

His family said: "He loved his wife and after losing her we feel he may have simply lost his way."

'Liked a laugh'

They added they were devastated at the loss of the former lorry driver.

"He had a great sense of fun and that is why we find it so hard to believe that he has taken his own life.

"Graham was a great joker - he liked a laugh to say the least.

"A lot of people in Hereford knew Graham and it would be very hard to find anyone who had a bad word to say about him."

The statement added: "Graham never really got over the loss of his wife from cancer two years ago and he couldn't really talk to people about it.

"He would give the impression that he was the hard man and could cope with anything."

Officers had been called to an address in Thorne to discuss an incident with Mr Jenkins.

He then left and was followed by police onto the M1.

Map showing route of M1 police pursuit
Part of the M1 was shut for eight hours following the incident
A police spokeswoman said: "As a result of information received from another force, South Yorkshire officers made inquires at an address in Thorne.

"Shortly after midnight a man left the address and drove off at speed.

"Police officers pursued the vehicle southbound on the M1 bringing it to a halt using standard road policing tactics, between junctions 27 and 26.

"The man was in possession of a firearm. Officers fired a baton round at the man, who then turned the firearm at himself."

Mr Jenkins died en-route to the Queen's Medical Centre, Nottingham, police said.

A post mortem examination was held in Sheffield on Friday, but the results are not being released.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) is overseeing the inquiry into the death.

Man shoots himself after M1 chase
15 Sep 05 |  Nottinghamshire
M1 shut after police chase crash
15 Sep 05 |  South Yorkshire

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