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Daughter of NI tram crash victim vows to carry on fight for justice after ‘accident’ conclusion


Passenger: Philip Logan died when a tram derailed in south London in 2016

Passenger: Philip Logan died when a tram derailed in south London in 2016

Passenger: Philip Logan died when a tram derailed in south London in 2016

A woman from Co Antrim whose father died in the Croydon tram crash has said her family will continue their fight for justice after a jury concluded the victims died as a result of an accident and were not unlawfully killed.

Tracy McAuley’s father Philip Logan (52) was one of seven passengers who died when the tram derailed in south London on November 9 2016. A further 51 people were injured.

On its 10th day of deliberations at Croydon Town Hall, the 10-person inquest jury reached a unanimous conclusion that their deaths were a result of an accident.

Several members of the victims’ families walked out of the room in tears after the decision was announced. They have demanded a new inquest.

It can now be reported that south London senior coroner Sarah Ormond-Walshe refused to call a number of people who the victims’ families wanted to give evidence about alleged safety failings.

Those potential witnesses include senior managers of operator Tram Operations Ltd (TOL) — a subsidiary of FirstGroup — and Transport for London, plus other experts and tram drivers.

The victims’ families plan to call on the Attorney General Michael Ellis QC to apply to the High Court to grant a new inquest.

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They will also seek to judicially review Ms Ormond-Walshe’s decision on which witnesses to call.

Mr Logan, Dane Chinnery (19), Philip Seary (57), Dorota Rynkiewicz (35), Robert Huxley (63), all from New Addington, and Donald Collett (62), and Mark Smith (35), both from Croydon, were killed in the crash.

Mr Logan’s daughter Tracy, who lives in Carrickfergus, said: “Today I feel like my whole family has been slapped in the face and these deaths didn’t matter.

“This isn’t the end and we will fight for justice to be done. And this time the whole story will be known.”

She said her father “was taken away by a tram driver that was going too fast”.

Mr Logan’s granddaughter, Danielle Wynne, said: “I’m so upset and angry. It’s not an accident. Someone is to blame. We want lessons to be learned so that no other family has to go through this.”

The jury’s foreman said it concluded that TOL had a risk assessment process which “failed to sufficiently identify the risk” of a tram overturning at the Sandilands curve, did not identify “additional measures to mitigate risk” and had a culture which “discouraged drivers from reporting health and safety concerns”.

Matthew Gregory, chief executive of FirstGroup, said: “Our thoughts remain with the families and loved ones of those who lost their lives, and all those who were injured or affected by this terrible event.” He insisted the company has “an unwavering commitment to safety”.

During the inquest, the jury heard the tram toppled over and spun off the tracks in darkness and heavy rain near the Sandilands stop after hitting a curve at 73kph (45mph). The speed limit for that stretch of track was 20kph (12mph).

Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB) chief inspector Simon French told the inquest that the driver, Alfred Dorris, may have slipped into a period of “microsleep” on the stretch of track ahead of the curve. During police interviews, Mr Dorris said he was “confused”, but when asked if he had fallen asleep he replied: “No, no, no.”

In October 2019 the Crown Prosecution Service announced he would not be charged with manslaughter due to a lack of evidence.

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