Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 3 September 2014

Father's grief over train deaths

Floral tributes outside the gates of Hertswood Academy in Borehamwood
The sign outside the gates of Hertswood Academy in Borehamwood following the deaths of an18-year-old schoolboy and a 15-year-old girl

The father of a teenager who was killed by a train in an apparent suicide pact with a school friend has spoken of his grief.

The 18-year-old, named in reports as Mert Karaoglan, and a 15-year-old girl, believed to be Charleigh Disbrey, died after being hit by a First Capital Connect (FCC) service near Elstree and Borehamwood station in Hertfordshire on Monday night.

On Tuesday night Mert's father, named by the Sun as Sakru, 48, spoke of his confusion and grief at his son's death. He told the newspaper Mert had been watching TV in Borehamwood when he said he was "going out for one or two hours".

He said: "We told him not to be out late. We were waiting and waiting. Then the police came round to see us at nine this morning. I can't stop crying."

He added: "He was a happy person - everything seemed okay."

Mert, reportedly a budding film-maker, and Charleigh, an aspiring musician, were killed shortly before 9pm on Monday after being struck 200 yards from Elstree and Borehamwood station by an empty passenger train travelling from St Albans to Sutton.

At least one suicide note is believed to have been found at the scene, it was reported, and British Transport Police (BTP) was not treating the deaths as suspicious.

The pair, from Borehamwood, attended the local Hertswood Academy, where Mert was in Year 13 and Charleigh in Year 10.

The academy's head teacher, Peter Gillett, said yesterday: "As a close community, obviously we are devastated by this tragedy. Both students were talented, hard-working and well-respected members of our academy. Our thoughts are with their families at this most difficult time. We are supporting our students and staff in coping with this terrible loss."

Floral tributes to the teenagers and cards were left outside the school's gates. One card read: "To Mert, thinking of you always, bless your soul and may you rest in peace friend." Another read: "Sleep tight angel. RIP CJ and Mert, never forgotten."

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