Ottawa family hears their son died instantly from explosion

Sheri and Pat Leighton speak to reporters outside the Federal Court building on Sparks St. Monday,...

Sheri and Pat Leighton speak to reporters outside the Federal Court building on Sparks St. Monday, March 24, 2014 on the first day of an inquest into the death of their 18 year-old son Eric on May 26, 2011. DOUG HEMPSTEAD/QMI AGENCY

Doug Hempstead, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:50 PM ET

OTTAWA — In just a few short hours, Pat and Sheri Leighton learned what they waited nearly three years to find out -- their 18 year-old son never suffered.

The couple was present in a federal courtroom Monday for the first day of what could be a two-week inquest into the death of Eric Leighton.

Leighton was killed May 26, 2011, when he cut into a drum barrel with an electric grinding tool.

The plan was to cut the barrel in half, lengthways, and re-attach it with a hinge — making it into a home-made barbecue. Something his shop class had already done once successfully, the inquest heard.


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