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Home Canterbury News Article
A talented teenage sportsman was hit and killed by a lorry on the A2 hours after celebrating a man-of-the-match performance with his football teammates, an inquest heard.
First-year student Philip Ganly only lived in Canterbury for six weeks after moving from his native Ireland to study a sports science degree at Canterbury Christ Church University.
The 18-year-old starred in a football match for his university team in Essex hours before he went on a fancy dress night out with friends in the city centre.
Dressed as a cheerleader, Mr Ganly drank in the SU Lounge bar before he was spotted walking along the carriageway on the A28 in Wincheap.
He was hit and killed by a Renault HGV on the A2 in the early hours on Thursday, October 31, after straying into the road.
Toxicology reports showed Mr Ganly's blood alcohol content was 228 miligrammes at the time of his death. The legal limit for drivers is 80mg.
Police are unable to establish why Mr Ganly was walking along the carriageway and CCTV footage showing him leaving the SU bar is believed to be lost.
Speaking at his inquest, his father Michael accused the SU bar of hiding CCTV footage of Mr Ganly in the bar in case it showed his drink had been spiked.
He said: "I'm very disappointed CCTV footage from the SU Bar was not made available and kept safe for officers.
"In my view it was deliberately deleted or hidden away by the security company.
"It is regrettable. Are the police happy about the CCTV going missing?
"It all happened in a fraction of a second. I made a rapid jump to the right but unfortunately both our efforts were in vain..." - lorry driver Jerzy Baran
"We wanted them to see it to check no one was interfering with his drink.
"I believed he wanted to slip away from his company as it was unusual for him to be in that situation."
Both PC David Jeeves and assistant coroner James Dillon admitted they were unhappy no CCTV could explain when exactly Mr Ganly left the bar in St George's Street before he walked along the A28 in Wincheap.
PC Jeeves also added he had asked all businesses along the A28 if they had any CCTV of Mr Ganly the night of his death, but said no one had come forward.
Witnesses said they saw Mr Ganly walk on to the carriageway in an unlit section of the A2 just after midnight.
Two drivers narrowly avoided him before he was struck by the HGV, driven by Polish national Jerzy Baran, at 53mph.
In a statement read out in court, Mr Baran describes how at first he thought he had hit a woman because of Mr Ganly's fancy dress costume.
He said: "It all happened in a fraction of a second. I made a rapid jump to the right but unfortunately both our efforts were in vain."
Pathologist Matthias Koslowski said Mr Ganly's death was caused by mulitiple injuries, including his skull being fractured and severe bruises.
Recording a narrative verdict, assistant coroner Mr Dillon said: "His movements from about 8pm until the time of his death cannot be ascertained with any certainty.
"He walked on to an unlit section in the London-bound carriageway of the A2 in Wincheap, where he was narrowly missed by two vehicles but struck by a HGV which swerved to avoid him. He died at the scene."
Speaking after the inquest, Michael Ganly said he did not wish to pursue the issue over the lost CCTV - but said the family remained proud of Mr Ganly, who was described as a sports-mad teenager.
He said: "His ambition was to come to England to study at a university, and we are so proud of him that he achieved that.
"He was a talented sportsman and was man of the match on the day, maybe that was his downfall.
"He was very happy in Canterbury – it was an unfortunate incident that just got out of hand."
Mr Ganly is also survived by his 20-year-old brother James and 15-year-old sister Laura at the family home in County Westmeath.
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