Rave party dad plunged 80ft to his death in quarry after argument over shortcut
2:47pm Wednesday 23rd October 2013 in News
A FATHER-of-two died after falling 80ft into a disused quarry.
Ian Thomson, 25, had been camping with his girlfriend and her family, and was fatally injured after being separated from the group in the early hours of July 7, an inquest heard.
He was found at the bottom of Brownfield Quarry, off Blackburn Road, near Turton, by his girlfriend’s brother.
The metal polisher, who lived in Lily Street, Darwen, was pronounced dead after being taken to Royal Blackburn Hospital.
His partner, Sarah Haworth, told the inquest a group of about eight people had decided to go camping at the quarry, also known as Yarnsdale Delf, the night before.
Half of the group, including Ian, headed to a rave nearby, while the other half, including Sarah, chose to play on a tree swing and follow afterwards, she said.
Sarah’s brother, Nick Haworth, told the court: “Ian was not having a good time, so we thought we would go back.”
But the pair split after arguing over a shortcut. Ian climbed a steep hill near the cliff edge while Nick stuck to the path, the inquest heard.
Nick turned back after arriving at an empty camp site.
He said: “I walked past the cliff face, saw the light from Ian’s phone and found him. In my mind he was dead.”
Nick ran back to the camp site and raised the alarm, the court heard.
Questioning Nick, Ian’s father, Robert Thomson, said he was originally told Nick was at the top of the cliff when he saw Ian’s body.
He asked: “Why is this a different story from what we were told on the night? You were the last person who saw him alive.
“You are going to remember that for the rest of your life, but we need to know what happened.”
A statement Nick gave was read out and he told the court he had not spoken to Ian’s family on the night.
PC Nina Caulkin performed chest compressions after being called to the scene.
She said: “I’m not medically trained but I believe he was dead when I arrived. I couldn’t feel a pulse and his eyes were open but motionless.”
Both of Ian's legs were broken, and he also suffered serious chest injuries.
He was double the legal drink drive limit when he died, the court heard.
Det Sgt Adrian McHugh added: “He was right that [his intended route] was a short cut but there are fallen trees that are impossible to walk through. He went up that slope and became disorientated.”
Coroner Michael Singleton recorded a verdict of accidental death, caused by multiple injuries.
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