Portrush, Co Antrim: Trapped Teenager Pleaded For Help Before Being Killed By Train

14 Apr

A teenager pleaded desperately for help as he lay trapped in front of an oncoming train, an inquest has heard.

Train death boy ‘begged for help’ Enlarge photo

Ryan Quinn, 14, had got his hand lodged in a cattle grid in Portrush, Co Antrim, Northern Ireland, in January 2009.

Moments before his death, he made a frantic call to his father, Ivan, claiming he had been attacked in nearby McLaughlin’s bar and was being chased.

He said: “Daddy, you are going to have to come quickly. I cannot get out, my knuckle is stuck.”

He was hit by the last train from Coleraine to Portrush and suffered fatal injuries.

A statement from his father at Coleraine Coroner’s Court said: “He was starting to get hysterical and the more he got hysterical he was begging me, he was screaming down the phone.”

The Public Prosecution has told the dead boy’s family there is insufficient evidence to bring a case against two suspects. Police have been unable to prove how the St Joseph’s College, Coleraine, pupil came to be lying on the line when the train hit him. His family is convinced he was murdered.

Train driver Ian Cairns said he believed he had seen somebody running away from the line a split second before the collision.

“I suddenly had a flashback, it was so vivid it gave me goosebumps,” he said. “I am convinced there was someone else on the track prior to the train hitting Ryan Quinn.” His first statement to police made no reference to seeing anybody else.

Coroner John Leckey said it was a terrible situation: “One can understand why panic would have entered the equation on seeing the oncoming train with the lights no doubt would have increased the sense of panic, a real nightmare situation.”


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