Family to demand inquest answers over safety concerns at football ground after talented young player from Chorley electrocuted by power lines during kickabout

The parents of a talented young footballer electrocuted by pitchside power lines are to ask an inquest to address "concerns" over ground safety and also an ambulance delay on the day he died.

By Brian Ellis
Wednesday, 1st December 2021, 12:49 pm

Luke Bennett, 17, was killed in March when electricity jumped from the overhead cables to a metal pole he was using to retrieve a ball from a pond during an informal kickabout with friends at Euxton Villa's ground near Chorley.

A pre-inquest review was held in Preston yesterday at which a lawyer representing the teenager's distraught family said the safety of the site in Runshaw Hall Lane was one of the issues they would like addressing at the full hearing.

Another matter of concern to the family was the time it took paramedics to reach the football ground and whether a speedier response could have saved Luke's life.

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Luke Bennett was a talented player with AFC Fylde's youth squad.

During the hour-long hearing Assistant Coroner Kate Bissett was told the North West Ambulance Service had conducted a serious incident review into the tragedy and the results of that would be revealed at the full inquest.

In addition a full investigation by the Health and Safety Executive was carried out, the findings of which would also be submitted.

Luke, a youth team player at AFC Fylde, had been having an unauthorised kickabout with a group of teenagers at Euxton when electricity "arced" across from power lines to the metal pole he was holding.

There were some reports that Luke got up after the initial shock, but then fell down again. He was unresponsive when paramedics reached him.

Electricity North West are expected to give evidence at the full inquest into how the power could have jumped across if there was no direct contact between the pole and the cables.

The pre-inquest hearing was attended by barristers from Euxton Villa FC and the ambulance service.

Graham Keyte, chairman of Euxton Villa FC, is expected to give evidence to the final inquest, a date for which has not yet been decided.

A cardiac specialist will also be asked what Luke's chances of survival would have been had he received swifter treatment.