Watchdog to probe how boy drowned in police chase
Published 09/04/2010 | 05:00
THE police ombudsman is to investigate the death of a schoolboy who drowned as he tried to flee from chasing officers.
Kyle Bonnes (15) drowned in the River Faughan in the village of Drumahoe on the outskirts of Derry as he and another teenager ran off when police officers arrived in the village to investigate reports of a disturbance.
Kyle, who was in a field with his friend when two police officers challenged them, jumped into the River Faughan on Wednesday in a bid to escape but he was swept away by the fast-flowing waters despite efforts to rescue him.
The teenager's body was later recovered downstream by members of the Foyle Search and Rescue's emergency response team.
The North's police ombudsman Al Hutchinson is to investigate the incident.
Floral tributes to Kyle were laid yesterday on a bridge overlooking the stretch of the river where he drowned.
The teenager lived with his parents in the nearby Tullyally estate and local community worker Kathleen Cooke said Kyle's friends were shocked and confused by his death. "When we heard about the awful tragedy, we opened the local community centre and over 30 of Kyle's friends came to the centre to comfort one another," she said.
"Some of them were with him in the field when he ran off, climbed over a fence and sadly went into the River Faughan. He was such a lovely bubbly boy who would always shout a welcome when he saw you.
"It's every parent's nightmare and parents should give their children extra hugs because you just don't know what's going to happen", she said.
Local DUP councillor Drew Thompson said the stretch of the River Faughan where Kyle entered was known as a dangerous part of the river.
"The river is in full flood after the recent heavy rains and there are deep holes in the river bed where Kyle went in.
"Kyle was very well thought of in the area," he said.