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Ivan Quinn leaves a medal at the spot where Ryan was killed Photo by: Belfast Telegraph

Boy whose hand was stuck in track killed by train

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Ivan Quinn leaves a medal at the spot where Ryan was killed Photo by: Belfast Telegraph

In January 2009 Ryan Quinn's father received the frantic last phone call from son whose hand was stuck in a cattle grid on a railway track.

Moments later his 14-year-old son was struck by a train and killed.

An inquest into the County Antrim boy's death heard that he was lying on the train tracks when he called his father. Ryan told his father "Daddy, you are going to have to come quickly. I cannot get out, my knuckle is stuck"

His father, Ivan, rushed to the scene but was too late. 

Just moments before he told his father that he had been attacked in a nearby bar and was being chased.

The police launched a murder investigation in 2009 but no one has been charged due to a lack of evidence.

Quinn was hit by a late-night train travelling from Coleraine to Portrush.

The statement from his father, read in court, said  his "was starting to get hysterical and the more he got hysterical he was begging me, he was screaming down the phone."

The teenager's family are convinced that his death was murder. The police are unable to prove how he came to be lying on the tracks when the train hit him.

Ivan, the boy's father, spoke via video-link. He said "My son was not just my son, he was my best friend and I knew him probably better than anybody."

The train driver on the night in question Ian Cairns said that he saw somebody running away on the night in question, just a split second before the collision.

In his first statement Cairns had said that he did not see anyone but then speaking to the police he said "I suddenly had a flashback, it was so vivid it gave me goosebumps…I am convinced there was someone else on the track prior to the train hitting Ryan Quinn."

He continued "I saw a person appear to be holding themselves up with their arm, the lights of the train illuminated the face and you then saw the left arm raised."

The Coroner John Leckey called it a terrible situation. He said "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," reported the Daily Mail.

The 14-year-old was three times over the legal drink-drive limit when the accident occurred. He had been at a bar celebrating his brother Dean Quinn's 18th birthday.

Lisa Kinnaird, the victim's mother, said she did not know her son was at the bar. She thought that they had gone for a meal and were celebrating the birthday with his father.

Detective Chief Inspector Ian Harrison said eyewitnesses in the bar had not come forward. He said "We are aware that there was an incident in McLaughlin's pub a short time before Ryan found himself on the railway line…Ryan did not go on to the track for a walk. We are aware that Ryan was subjected to a minor assault prior to finding himself on the railway line."

Attorney for the family Ernie Waterworth said "The family have no doubt he was assaulted prior to being on the track and therefore was escaping." They believe he fell onto the tracks after escaping.
 

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