Belfast Telegraph

Police Ombudsman opens criminal investigation into death of Shannon McQuillan

By Mark Edwards

The Police Ombudsman has launched a criminal investigation into the death of a Co Antrim teenager who was knocked down and killed shortly after being spoken to by police.

Shannon McQuillan (19), from Dunloy, died after she and her boyfriend Owen McFerran were struck by a van in the early hours of January 20.

Mr McFerran (21), from Ballymoney, sustained very serious injuries and remains in a stable condition at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast.

The pair were hit on the Moneyrick Road near Toome a short time after leaving the back of an ambulance which was taking Ms McQuillan to hospital.

It is believed the journey to hospital was aborted close to Toome and that the couple then came into contact with police officers.

The matter was then referred to the Police Ombudsman for an initial investigation.

Shannon McQuillan and her boyfriend Owen McFerran

A Police Ombudsman spokesman told the Belfast Telegraph: “We can confirm that having considered the information we have gathered so far, we have decided that our investigation into the circumstances connected to Shannon’s death should be a criminal one.”

Niall O’Murchu, of Madden & Finucane, representing the McQuillan family, said: “Mr McQuillan and his family have recently learned that the Office of the Police Ombudsman has decided to progress their initial investigation and begin a criminal investigation into offences of Gross Negligence Manslaughter and Misconduct in a Public Office.

“Mr McQuillan would like to thank the media for the space and privacy he and his family have been given so far. He now wants to await the outcome of this phase of the investigation in privacy, in what is still a very difficult time, to allow due process to run its course.”

Ms McQuillan was a Ulster University law and criminology student and a former St Louis Grammar School pupil.

The PSNI declined to comment.

The accident scene

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