Rail tragedy teen’s desperate call to dad as train bore down
A teenager trapped on a railway line made desperate pleas to his father in a phone call immediately before he was killed by a train, it emerged at his inquest yesterday.
Fourteen-year-old Coleraine boy Ryan Quinn died from multiple injuries sustained when he was hit by the Translink night train at Ballyreagh railway track in Portrush at around 11pm on January 30, 2009.
At the Coroner’s Court in Coleraine it emerged that the youth had the equivalent of three times the legal drink-drive limit in his system.
Coroner John Leckey agreed with the pathologist that bruising on the back of Ryan’s left hand suggested it had become stuck in the wooden cattle-grid crossing.
In evidence submitted via video-link, Ryan’s father Ivan Quinn spoke of the heartbreaking phone call he received as he tried to reach his son.
An extract from Mr Quinn’s written statement was read out by Mr Leckey: “He said ‘help me dad, please help me’. It was a brief phone call.
“I was trying to get to him because of his frame of mind, he was hysterical.
“He said: ‘Daddy you’re going to have to come quick daddy, you’re going to have to come quick, my knuckle’s stuck’.
“He was begging me, screaming down the phone ‘help me daddy, help me, my knuckle’s stuck, my knuckle’s stuck’, and he was pleading for help.”
Mr Quinn told the court he was in no doubt that his son meant it when he said he had had his nose broken and was being pursued, although Ryan had also told him he was located to the rear of Kelly’s nightclub when he was actually behind McLaughlin’s Bar.
“He was in a state of despair. He said he had just been assaulted.”
Mr Leckey and detectives investigating the young boy’s death said they were convinced there were more people with information about the events leading up to Ryan’s death who had yet to come forward.