Yorkshire father-to-be, 21, killed by train after string of family tragedies

A young Yorkshire father-to-be who had battled with depression, mental health issues and a string of family tragedies was killed instantly when he stepped in front of a 118mph express train.

Kieran Rylance was due to become a father in February this year – but died when he was struck by the high speed LNER service near to Rossington level crossing in October last year.

An inquest heard Kieran, 21, had struggled to cope following the death of his mum two years previously and had also expressed guilt after his uncle collapsed and died in the street just a few days before the rail tragedy, believing he could have done more to help.

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His family home had also been petrol bombed and he had also gone through a difficult break-up with the mum of his unborn daughter which was described in court as a ‘toxic’ relationship.

Kieran RylanceKieran Rylance
Kieran Rylance

The hearing at Doncaster’s Mansion House also heard that he had battled addictions to crack cocaine, cannabis and alcohol, had been expelled from school and had got in with the ‘wrong crowd’ during his teenage years, leading to a number of brushes with the law.

None of Kieran’s family were present for the inquest, with assistant Doncaster coroner Louise Slater saying they were too upset to attend.

However, statements were read out from his sisters who described how Kieran had experienced battles with mental health and depression but had never spoken of any intent to take his own life.

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Sister Joanne described her brother, a Next warehouse employee, who lived at Firth Crescent, Rossington as a ‘very happy, very mischievious young man’ and ‘class clown’ when he was at school, but had come to live with her in Withernsea following battles with drugs before returning to Doncaster three years ago.

His younger sister Katie said the death of their mum from cancer in 2019 had hit Kieran hard and she said: “He took mum’s death badly.

"He was very close to her. He was really depressed.”

She also revealed how he had been in a relationship with a local woman called Ruby Hoe and the pair were expecting a child together, but the relationship had ended.

She said: “He was so in love with her. He couldn’t cope without her. But he never discussed taking his own life.”

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“In his straight mind he would never have taken his own life.”

In a written statement, Miss Hoe said the pair had known each other since school and had been dating since 2019.

She said during the relationship, Kieran had had an affair which led to her making an attempt on her own life, but they had later got back together.

However, the relationship was blighted by constant rows and drug taking and she added: “We loved each other very deeply but had a a volatile, jealous relationship which ended in big arguments.”

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She added: “Kieran was always depressed. He was mentally unwell but wouldn’t engage with anyone and he believed he could sort everything all by himself.”

The court heard that he had been refererred by his GP for help with his mental health, but had not taken up any of the appointments on offer.

On the evening of October 16 last year, Kieran went to the East Coast Main Line in Rossington and walked onto the track, stepping out in front of the Newcastle to London King’s Cross express shortly after 5pm as the train roared through the village at nearly 120mph.

The court heard that he suffered massive injuries and died instantly at the scene. Traces of cannabis were found in his system but the assistant coroner was satisfied that the drugs would not have impacted on his judgement and that he had intended to kill himself.

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He had also left a bag containing mobile phones at the scene, but a police investigation found nothing on the devices suggesting he had been researching to take his own life.

Delivering her verdict, the coroner said: “Kieran was described as a cheeky, mischieveous young man who associated with the wrong crowd during his teenage years.

"He used crack cocaine and cannabis and in 2019 he lost his mum to cancer.

"It affected Kieran and he would hide his feelings. He was expecting his first child and was looking forward to being a father but the relationship ended in upset.

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"He was struggling with the breakdown of the relationship and had also suffered the recent death of his uncle two days prior, but his family never thought he would harm himself.

"CCTV shows he made no attempt to get out of the way of the train. It was a deliberate act to place himself in front of the train. He would have known that this would result in his death.”

She recorded a verdict of suicide.

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