Saturday 24 March 2018

Drivers' miraculous escape as cement lorry overturns and crashes into graveyard

Driver escapes as cement lorry overturns and crashes into graveyard. Pic Belfast Telegraph
Driver escapes as cement lorry overturns and crashes into graveyard. Pic Belfast Telegraph

By Joanne Sweeney

Cement lorry overturned and crashed into a graveyard before spilling its contents onto the road in an early morning collision between two vehicles.

Neither of the drivers are believed to have been badly injured, although the driver of the Quinn Group cement lorry was taken to hospital yesterday after the crash which happened around 5am.

He was later discharged after being treated for minor injuries.

The crash happened on the main A4 Belfast road out of Augher, Co Tyrone, on the Crossowen Road.

While some surrounds of several graves were damaged at the St Martin's Parish Church-owned cemetery, the Belfast Telegraph has learned that no gravestone was damaged in the crash.

Canon Noel Reagan said: "Nothing has been broken that cannot be easily fixed, and that's the main thing to be thankful for. It's just reassuring to know that no one was hurt in what was quite a bad accident.

"I went down to the graveyard to view the damage after being made aware of the crash by a parishioner and the police and saw that the lorry was completely overturned.

"It had completely flattened our fence and one tree.

"No gravestones were damaged but the kerb surrounds of two graves were damaged and I'm sure that the grave owners will be thankful of that."

The Crossowen Road between Clogher and Augher was closed by police to traffic in both directions to help with the investigation and to clear up the spilled cement.

Police advised motorists to avoid the area.

The road was later opened at around 4.30pm after the lorry was removed.

It's understood that a second lorry also overturned between Augher and Clogher at the junction of the Ballymagowan and Knockmany roads.

The vehicle may have been diverted away from the main A4 Crossowen Road, where the cement lorry was, the Ulster Herald reported yesterday.

The graveyard is part of the St McCartan's Cathedral group of churches in the Augher and Clogher area.

Quinn Group declined to comment on the accident.

Belfast Telegraph

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