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Two quarry deaths have been confirmed as accidental

Posted in: Public Liability 

After two young men died within a week of each other at a Worcestershire quarry, their deaths have been declared accidental. The two young men both found themselves facing difficulties when trying to swim to the other side on separate occasions. 17-year-old Russell O’Neill died at Gullet Quarry on the 6th of July, and Justas Juzenas, aged 22, died on the 12th of July.

Coroner Roland Wooderson recorded the verdicts of the deaths at Hereford Town Hall. The inquest heard that Russell had been with friends at the time of the incident. They had been playing in the water when he decided to try to swim to the other side. Originally from Worcester, Russell found himself struggling to stay above the water, and drowned. A similar scenario occurred when, six days later, Mr Juzenas attempted to swim to the other side when spending time at the quarry with his girlfriend. A vigil had been planned for Russell on the day that Mr Juzenas drowned, which was subsequently postponed.

“Tried their hardest”

When Mr Juzenas was seen to be going under by onlookers, many swam out to try and find him, but were unsuccessful. Mr Juzenas’s sister, Birute Juzenite, described her brother to the BBC as being “a very active and very nice person”. Russell’s older brother, Chris, also said that his brother’s friends had “tried their hardest” to help him but also failed.

The Malvern Hills Conservators told media that they are currently awaiting a report from the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) to produce a plan on how to improve the safety of the public at the quarry.

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