Sunderland teenager died after sniffing gas

Funeral of 17-year-old Toni Allison who died suddenly last week.
Funeral of 17-year-old Toni Allison who died suddenly last week.
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A TEENAGER died suddenly after inhaling butane gas bought from a shop.

Toni Allison, 17, had hallucinations after sniffing the gas in a cigarette lighter refill, an inquest heard.

The Wearsider died on Sunday, June 12, 2011, despite extensive efforts to revive her after she collapsed on a train.

Teesside Coroner’s Court heard that Toni, from Grindon, had been visiting Middlesbrough with a friend and they had been returning home.

The court heard that Miss Allison bought the gas canister in Finlay’s Newsagent in Gilkes Street, Middlesbrough.

She managed to buy the substance despite not being 18 – the legal age to do so.

Miss Allison, who was with her friend Nikita Stokoe, inhaled it near a Middlesbrough church and in the train station toilets.

The pair boarded a train which was heading to Seaham, County Durham, and Miss Stokoe said Miss Allison was secretly sniffing the gas, hidden in her bag, while on the train.

Miss Stokoe told how Miss Allison had been hallucinating at various points on the journey.

The teenager – a regular at the A690 youth project – collapsed after the train had arrived at Stockton railway station.

Her friend rushed to get help from the train conductor, telling him her friend had been taken ill.

Miss Allison was shaking uncontrollably.

Resuscitation attempts were carried out by a passenger before an ambulance arrived.

The conductor Anthony Malkin said it was “possibly 20 minutes” until the arrival of the paramedics.

Efforts to save Miss Allison’s life were on-going when she arrived at Stockton’s University Hospital of North Tees.

Following the death of the Sunderland College student, trading standards officials from Middlesbrough Council carried out an investigation into Finlay’s and the managing director was given a caution.

John Clifford Wells, operations manager for public protection at the council, told the inquest that the shop did have procedures in place about underage sales, but on this occasion, it “failed to carry out due diligence”.

During the inquest, Deputy Coroner Anthony Eastwood questioned whether Miss Allison’s life could have been saved if paramedics had arrived at the scene earlier.

However pathologist Jan Lowe, who carried out a post-mortem examination, told Mr Eastwood that it was “unlikely” that there would have been a different outcome.

Miss Allison’s mum Sue Allison, of Sunderland, described her as “a lovely daughter”.

She said her daughter did have problems with solvent abuse when she was about 14 but with help they managed to tackle it and said: “I got my Toni back”.

At the time of Toni’s death, she paid tribute to her daughter and said: “Everybody knew her and she was the happiest, bubbliest person you could ever.

“She lived her life to the full.

“She crammed so much into her 17 short years and I think it’s going to take a long, long time before anyone forgets her.”

A jury recorded a verdict of accidental death and Miss Allison died from toxic effects of inhaling butane.

Twitter: craigjourno