THE family of a gifted 17-year-old boy who died after being struck by a train on the East Coast Main Line have spoken of their devastation.

Jake Pirie, of Thornton Steward, near Leyburn, died at Northallerton railway station shortly before 6.15pm on Sunday, (February 24), after being hit by a high-speed Edinburgh to Kings Cross train.

A British Transport Police spokesman said Yorkshire Ambulance Service attended but the teenager, a pupil at leading boarding school Uppingham, in Rutland, died at the scene.

He said: “The incident is being treated as non-suspicious and a file will be prepared for the coroner, who has opened and adjourned an inquest into the boy’s death.”

There have been four deaths at the railway station in the last 18 months.

In a statement, the family of the former Aysgarth School pupil, who won an all-round scholarship to Uppingham in 2008, asked for privacy as they struggled to deal with the tragedy.

It said: “We are all overcome with grief following the death of Jake. He was a wonderful boy who had so much to live for.

“He was so popular and enjoyed the company of many friends. We are heartbroken and it will take a long time for us to start coming to terms with this tragedy.”

The teenager’s teachers and friends said they had been left in deep shock by Jake’s death.

Richard Harman, headmaster of Uppingham School, said: “The thoughts and prayers of all the staff and the pupils go out immediately to Jake’s family, especially his mother and his sister, and his friends.”

Mr Harman said Jake’s friends had been very upset and that the school staff were offering “all possible support to them and other pupils within our community, to help them through this most distressing time”.

He added: “Jake was a very popular boy at Uppingham, and he participated fully in school life, both academically and on the sports field.

“It is so tragic that Jake’s life has been lost at this young age when he had so much more to look forward to in life.”