Flood victim died after stepping into river

A SHEFFIELD teenager killed in the city's summer floods accidentally stepped into the swollen river and was swept away to his death, an inquest heard today.

Thursday, 20th September 2007, 2:09 pm
Updated Thursday, 20th September 2007, 3:20 pm

Fourteen-year-old Ryan Joe Parry and four friends were splashing about in ankle deep water and skidding on wet grass when he took a step too far and fell into the deeper water.

He was then carried away in the fast-flowing waters of the River Sheaf, described by an eyewitness as flowing "like rapids" at the time.

The youngster and his friends were among a number of people who had gone into the park to see how the river had overflowed, during what coroner Christopher Dorries described as "exceptional weather" in June.

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Ryan, of Moorland Road, Gleadless, had caught a bus with friends to get home from King Ecgberts School but got off near the park when the bus was unable to travel any further because of the amount of water on Abbeydale Road.

Matthew Bate, 32, saw Ryan falling into the river and said he heard him shouting for help as he was swept past him in the torrential water.

Mr Dorries, recording a narrative verdict, said: "He was swept away in flood waters of the river Sheaf at Millhouses Park during exceptional weather.

"Ryan had inadvertently come close to the edge of the water. The edge of the water was concealed by the flooding.

"There would have been no clue as to where the edge was."

• Ryan's parents: "He died the way he lived" - see tomorrow's Star.