Advertisement

Teenage footballer died after being electrocuted during kickabout with friends

The 17-year-old would “likely have survived” if paramedics hadn't been sent to the wrong location, an inquest heard.

Luke Bennett died after being electrocuted during a kickabout with friends. (SWNS)
Luke Bennett died after being electrocuted during a kickabout with friends. (SWNS)

A teenage footballer electrocuted during a kickabout would “likely have survived” if paramedics hadn't been sent to the wrong location, an inquest heard.

Medics took 23 minutes to reach Luke Bennett, 17, after his friends raised the alarm when a pole he was holding touched an overhead power line in Chorley, Lancashire.

A 999 call handler advised witnesses not to touch him as he lay dying in case they too were electrocuted.

And a further error in recording the call meant a defibrillator at the football club was not located, Preston Coroner's Court heard.

Luke Bennett was a footballer with AFC Fylde in Lancashire. (SWNS)
Luke Bennett was a footballer with AFC Fylde in Lancashire. (SWNS)

Luke, a junior footballer with AFC Fylde in Lancashire, died after delays getting treatment in the vital few minutes after the shock in March 2021, the inquest heard.

Consultant cardiologist Dr Ian Schofield said: "It is more likely than not that he would have survived had CPR [cardiopulmonary resuscitation] been started earlier.

"And if a defibrillator had been available and used within the first 10 minutes it is highly likely he would have survived."

Luke was one of three teenagers hit by 11,000-volts after a metal pole they were playing with touched overhead power lines.

The two others, Lewis Geszke and Ben Wilcox, were knocked unconscious but recovered soon after.

The three boys had been playing football with others after climbing through a hole in the fence at the Euxton Villa ground in Runshaw Hall Lane.

They picked up a metal pole they'd found at the side of the pitch and were lifting it up when there was a flash, the inquest heard.

Eyewitness Ben Doherty said the three had been trying to stand the pole up on its end.

Ambulance service call records showed a 999 call was received at 5.58pm from one of the boys at the football ground. But the first paramedics arrived at the scene 23 minutes later at 6.21pm.

The ambulance crew were told the location was a pitch next to Runshaw College.

After valuable minutes were lost searching that area, they were finally diverted to the real address, the court was told.

And because the handler thought the boy had said Euxton, not Euxton Villa, a defibrillator at the club wasn't identified on the ambulance service records.

When ambulance crews and a flying doctor eventually arrived, they took over from a police officer who had already begun CPR.

But despite desperate efforts to revive Luke, he was pronounced dead at 6.48pm – 50 minutes after the 999 call.

In a tribute issued after his death, Luke's family expressed their "inconsolable" grief and said "his beautiful light will never go out".

The inquest, before area coroner Kate Bisset, continues.