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Teen drowned in reservoir tragedy

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A Glossop teenager died after falling into a reservoir unconscious after an epileptic seizure, an inquest heard.

Sixteen-year-old Mitchell Turner had been working at Mossy Lea Farm in Glossop, alongside the farm’s gamekeeper John Conroy, helping to repair damage at the reservoir in October 2013, Chesterfield Coroner’s Court heard.

On Friday October 11, he was working at the reservoir edge, building up an eroded area with soil and stone. Mr Conroy had left the farm to go to the bank in Glossop returning at around 11.30am and went to find Mitchell, but couldn’t see him at the reservoir. He returned to the farm yard but couldn’t find him there so phoned Mitchell’s mobile number but it was switched off. A short while later, he again went to look for Mitchell but couldn’t find him or get through on his mobile. Mr Conroy then drove to Mitchell’s home address on Riddings Road, Hadfield, but there was no answer, and he also called his father Steven Turner but he hadn’t heard from Mitchell either.

He then returned to the farm and went down to the reservoir where he saw a shovel floating in the water. Emergency services were called and firefighters carried out a search of the reservoir, finding Mitchell face down in the water. CPR was performed on him for 30 minutes but Mitchell sadly died.

Mitchell was due to start a gamekeeping apprenticeship at the farm and had secured a place at college, the inquest heard.

In a statement read out in court, his father Steven Turner said: “Mitchell was really excited. He was such a good lad. He had so much love and enthusiasm for what he was doing.”

Mitchell had not been diagnosed with epilepsy, but in 2012 he collapsed while walking to school and suffered a seizure. He was taken to hospital but no cause could be found for the incident, and there were no further seizures, the inquest was told.

Temporary Detective Inspector Joanne Betts said: “It would appear that Mitchell suffered an epileptic seizure close to the water, so close that when that happened, he fell into the water and drowned.”

Recording a verdict of accidental death, assistant deputy coroner Sophie Cartwright said: “Mitchell Turner was plainly a lovely young man. A kind young man who loved the countryside and was on his way to a career as a gamekeeper.

“The loss of such a kind and loving boy no doubt bears particularly heavy on Mr and Mrs Turner and Mitchell’s family.”

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