Family accuse college of cover-up and say they are still seeking answers over death of student, 17, who died in fall from hotel balcony after night out during class trip to Barcelona in 2011
- Desperate family seeking truth after teenage son died during trip to Barcelona
- Glyn Summers was 17 when staff allowed him to go out drinking on visit to Spain
- But he tragically died following a fall from a fifth floor balcony later that night
- Ten years on, his family suspect a cover-up and are calling for the truth
A devastated family have said they are still seeking answers after their teenage son plunged to his death from a fifth-floor hotel balcony during a college trip to Barcelona a decade ago.
Engineering student Glyn Summers, who was of Hengoed in Mid Glamorgan, South Wales, was just 17 when college staff allowed him to go out drinking with other students on the visit to Spain in 2011.
But following his death after falling from a hotel balcony ten years ago, his family say they are getting no answers from the college and suspect a cover-up.
The Summers are yet to receive a copy of a report made by bosses at Ystrad Mynach College, and even the family’s insurance company have refused to help them out because one tutor told investigators Glyn had jumped – despite a police report saying no tutors were present at the time.
Glyn’s brother Sion, 32, said the college, which has since merged with another institution to form Coleg y Cymoedd, has refused to fully share its report of Glyn’s death due to ‘confidentiality reasons’.
‘How can they hide behind that? My parents have a right to know what the outcome of the investigation is. So far, all my parents have been given is the chance to spend an hour in the college’s solicitors’ office reading the report,’ Sion said.
‘But one hour to read and digest the report into their son’s death? They refused that because that is not acceptable.
‘Nothing is going to bring Glyn back, unfortunately he is gone. But as a family, we deserve to know what the report said, and we deserve an apology.’
Engineering student Glyn Summers, who was of Hengoed in Mid Glamorgan, South Wales, was just 17 when college staff allowed him to go out drinking with other students on the visit to Spain in 2011
But following his death after falling from a hotel balcony ten years ago, his devastated family say they are getting no answers and suspect a cover-up
Sion said: ‘My parents have been trying to get access to this report for almost ten years.
‘The college conducted an internal investigation after admitting in a letter to my parents that one of the tutors on the trip gave permission for my brother, who was 17 at the time, and some of his friends to go to an over-21 bar on the first night they were there.
‘The group went to the bar and my brother’s friends took him back to the hotel and he was a bit worse for wear and wasn’t feeling well.
‘He went out onto the balcony – we think to be unwell – and fell over the balcony. He tried to pull himself back up but fell and a week later he died in hospital.
‘My parents flew out there and while they were supposed to be by my brother’s side, they were having to battle the insurance company because they were facing these medical bills and the company wouldn’t pay out.
‘My parents were told by the company that the tutor had called them and said that he had jumped – and they don’t pay out on self-inflicted injuries. They even sent my parents the report confirming this and a recording of the call.
‘How can someone who was not there say that he jumped? This was contradicted by the police report, which we had translated from Spanish a year after. It had eyewitnesses state that he fell and was clinging on to try and save himself.’
The Summers are yet to receive a copy of a report made by bosses at Ystrad Mynach College, and even the family’s insurance company have refused to help them out because one tutor told investigators Glyn had jumped – despite a police report saying no tutors were present at the time
Karen Phillips, principal of Coleg y Cymoedd said: ‘The death of Glyn Summers, during an overseas trip in 2011 organised by the former College Ystrad Mynach, was a tragic accident that was deeply distressing for family and friends as well as staff and fellow students who continue to feel his loss.
‘The safety and wellbeing of the students in our care is, and always will be, the over-riding priority for Coleg y Cymoedd. Our safeguarding policies, procedures and practices are constantly monitored to ensure the safety of all staff and students participating in College trips and other activities.
‘Since assuming responsibility for the former College Ystrad Mynach, we have sought to co-operate as fully as possible with Glyn’s parents, Welsh Government, and others during these difficult times.
‘As the successor college we have responsibility for keeping documents related to the former College Ystrad Mynach. While legal constraints prevent us offering unrestricted access to the documents in this case, we have endeavoured to do as much as we are permitted to give Glyn’s parents the information which they have requested. We have taken a similar approach in liaising with Welsh Government.
‘Our thoughts and sympathies continue to be with Glyn’s family and loved ones.’
Glyn’s family want the Welsh Government to hold an investigation into his death to see if future trips need regulating.
Sion said: ‘If my brother was with a school on the trip, the local authority would have stepped in sooner to do an investigation, but with further education colleges it doesn’t work that way.
‘We’re calling for the Welsh Government to launch an independent investigation into my brother’s death and to tighten the rules of what is allowed when college students are taken on trips.
‘I’m a teacher myself and I would never dream of giving permission for a student to drink alcohol, especially if underage.
‘Nothing can bring Glyn back but for me, I can’t rest knowing that this could happen to someone else and I want to stop that.’
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