Parents of Northamptonshire boy killed on railway lines pay tribute to “thoughtful” and “talented” son

Harrison Ballantyne, 11, died near a rail depot in Daventry on June 27.
Harrison Ballantyne, 11, died near a rail depot in Daventry on June 27.

The parents of a boy who lost his life earlier this week on a freight line in Northamptonshire have paid tribute to their “beautiful son”.

Harrison Ballantyne, 11, died after sustaining serious electrical burns near a rail depot in Daventry on Tuesday (June 27).

Emergency services were called to the scene at 5.20pm, but sadly nothing could be done to save him.

In a statement released today (June 30), Harrison’s parents said: “Harrison was our beautiful son. In less than 12 years he filled our lives with happiness. His lively character lit up the room.

“Harrison was a kind and thoughtful boy who shared everything and always thought of others.

“He was a talented sportsman and had developed into a great footballer who was well-respected by his teammates.

“Harrison was an outgoing boy and loved to be active and outside exploring, climbing and getting muddy. Life was an adventure that he sought out to the full.

“Harrison is not only a son, he was a brother, grandson, great-grandson, nephew, great-nephew, cousin and friend.

“His cheeky smile and witty humour keeps us smiling and a huge piece of all of us has gone with him, never to return.

“His innocence and inquisitive nature led him to the railway track, stealing him from this world so soon after he arrived. We will struggle to live without him.

“Tributes have poured in and we realise now just how wide his circle of influence has reached.

“We pray that this is not the end and he is able to see in some way how much he is loved and cared for.

“Harrison, we will love and miss you always and will carry you with us forever.”

Family liaison officers continue to support Harrison’s family and enquiries into the circumstances surrounding his death continue, although they are not being treated as suspicious.

Superintendent Chris Hodgkiss from British Transport Police (BTP) said: “Our thoughts are with Harrison’s loved ones and we are working very hard to give them the answers they need at this difficult time.

“Understandably, his death has come as a great shock to everyone who knew him. His friends who were at the scene have all now been spoken to and offered support, as have pupils at his school. Officers have also been patrolling the area around the line to ensure children stay away.

“Following Harrison’s death and the incident earlier this month where a teenager suffered 40 per cent burns to his body after getting onto the tracks in the West Midlands, we cannot stress enough the dangers of the railway.

“If you haven’t already, please speak to your children about the hazards and help us prevent further deaths and injuries this summer.”

Last year, BTP officers came across more than 555 children on the tracks and recorded around 8,200 incidents of trespass. More information can be found at the BTP's reality check website here.

Network Rail's website contains more details about the electrification of the railway.

Harrison’s family continue to ask for their privacy to be respected and no further statement will be made at this time.