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Archive - Thursday, 13 September 2001
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Man killed in freak accident
A mother spoke today about the freak road accident which killed her son.
Fencing belonging to builders was moved in the night and was left jutting out into Brighton Road, Hooley, London.
Hours later, 20-year-old Ryan Gurl, a passenger in a white Transit van, was killed instantly as he leaned out of the van window and hit his head on the fencing.
Ryan, who went to Coombe Road Primary School and Patcham High School, in Brighton, was on his way to Ikea in Croydon to help a friend buy furniture for his new flat when the accident happened.
His mother Sharon Gurl, said: "He was a son to be proud of. He was one in a million and would not hurt a fly. He was a soft lad who never got into trouble.
Ryan, an estate agent, had three brothers, Brett, 22, Aaron, 18, and Rhys Poulton, who was 14 the day his brother died.
Mrs Gurl said: "He wouldn't open any of his cards but we are trying to do the best we can. The whole family has come together to support each other."
Ryan also had a young nephew, Brandon, and a girlfriend, Hannah Cowley, 18.
Mrs Gurl said: "Ryan loved Brandon and worshipped the ground he walked on.
"Hannah is a wonderful girl and she is absolutely heartbroken. The whole family is devastated."
Terry Mussett, who lives opposite the accident scene, near the junction of Star Lane, called police when he saw a vehicle with a crane lifting a cabin and fencing early on Saturday.
He said: "I thought it was an odd time to be moving the cabin around, and considering the workmen had equipment stolen recently, I thought it was thieves.
"I saw the police talking to the driver and after a while he put the cabin back and they let him go.
"The fencing was not moved back, though.
"The accident was terrible, such a freak occurrence. It seems that this sequence of events could have been responsible for that youngster's life."
Police and paramedics were called to the scene at 10.35am on Sunday but Mr Gurl was dead.
Sergeant Peter Penoyre, who is leading the investigation, said the victim had very severe head injuries.
He said: "We are currently looking into all leads and any information we gain will be reported directly to the coroner." No arrests had been made.