Northern Ireland

Shannon McQuillan’s mother raises concerns over PSNI and Ambulance staff

19-year-old died after being struck by van in 2018

Shannon McQuillan, who was from the village on Dunloy near Ballymoney, was knocked down and killed in January last year
Shannon McQuillan

The mother of teenager who died after being struck by a van after leaving an ambulance on a country after police were called has questioned why “two professional bodies didn’t do the right thing”.

Colette McQuillan was giving evidence at an inquest into the death of her daughter Shannon McQuillan in Ballymena on Tuesday.

The 19-year-old, from Dunloy in Co Antrim, died after she was struck by a van on the Moneynick Road, near Toome, in January 2018, a short time after leaving the back of an ambulance which was taking her to hospital.

Her boyfriend Owen McFerran (21), from Ballymoney, was left fighting for his life after the accident, which took place in the early hours of the morning on the old main Derry to Belfast road.

He has been left with life-changing injuries.

Last week coroner Joe McCrisken heard how Ms McQuillan was taken to hospital by ambulance after falling in a car park in Magherafelt, Co Derry, on leaving a local nightclub.

Ambulance staff later radioed for police after an altercation involving Ms McQuillan and pulled in at a bus stop near Toome to await their arrival.

The inquest has previously heard that Ms McQuillan had wanted to leave the ambulance and later did so as police and medical staff looked on.

Under questioning from her barrister John Mackell, Ms McQuillan said she had received a phone call from police and told her daughter was being brought to hospital by ambulance.

Giving evidence, she raised concerns about the approach of police and ambulance staff.

“I just don’t know how two professional bodies didn’t do the right thing - their duty of care,” she said.

“Would they leave a dog, a kitten at the side of the road at 3.30 in the morning?”

Later Ms McQuillan confirmed that she had spoken to Mr McFerran by phone and he had asked her to pick the couple up, believing they were on the Frosses Road, between Ballymena an Ballymoney, approximately 25 miles from their actual location,

“And he said they were kicked out of the ambulance, they were told that they were wasting their time,” she told the coroner.

Ms McQuillan then spoke to her daughter, describing her as “just hysterical screaming”.

“I knew she was in a bad state,” she added.

She said her daughter also told her that “the police put her out of the ambulance”.

Ms Quillan later travelled to the Frosses Road but did not locate the couple.

The inquest has previously heard that a PSNI sergeant, who was one of three officers who attended the scene, denied that the alleged republican views of a teenager’s family had a bearing on how he dealt with her.

Shannon’s father Paul later told the coroner his family “is not republican in any shape, form or fashion”.

During a hearing on Monday it emerged that two off-duty officers failed to stop after they saw Ms McQuillan in the middle of the road after she had left the ambulance.