Tributes to young father who died in crash on way to work
Published 23/07/2016 | 18:28
Tributes have been paid to a young father who died in a crash while driving to work.
Donal Kildea, who was in his 20s, was involved in the accident near Donemana in Co Tyrone.
A second man was injured in the incident, which took place around 7.20am yesterday.
Friends said Mr Kildea, from the Springhill area of Strabane, had become a father within the past year.
Local independent councillor Patsy Kelly said it was a tragedy for the community. "It is an awful time for everybody involved," he added.
The accident happened on the Longland Road near Donemana.
Mr Kildea was travelling in a silver Peugeot car when it struck a bridge. The occupants of a blue Transit van also on the road at the time were not injured. The Longland Road was closed for some time between Cumber Road and Ballyarton Road.
PSNI inspector Ray Wilson said: "Another male who was also in the car was taken to hospital, where he is currently receiving treatment for injuries that are not believed to be life-threatening."
Mr Kelly said: "It is a terrible tragedy for someone in their early 20s. The thought of that news coming to someone's door this morning is awful. Words cannot describe the shock for people hearing that news, and I want to express my condolences to the young man's family."
Mr Kelly said the road the accident took place on was a link between the A5 at Strabane and the A6 at Claudy. "It is a busy road for commuters" he said.
West Tyrone SDLP MLA Daniel McCrossan, who uses the route while travelling to Stormont, said it was a dangerous stretch of road."Once again we learn of the sad and tragic loss of yet another young life on our roads," Mr McCrossan added. "Any death of a young person as a result of a road collision affects the entire community and leaves an unjustifiable pain in the hearts of the families and friends connected to the victim.
"I have worked tirelessly to lobby ministers to ensure that roads and infrastructure in this very rural constituency are brought up to a standard which is safe and suitable for all road users.
"While I appreciate it is not always the fault of bad roads, it is often a huge contributor to road deaths. I would offer my deepest sympathies to his family and friends at this very sad and difficult time."
So far this year, 32 people have died on Northern Ireland's roads. This is down on t38 deaths at the same point in 2015.
Police have urged anyone with information on the accident to contact them on 101.