'He was special and his legacy will live on' - family of man killed in tragic crash that injured his granddaughter
The nephew of a man who was tragically killed in a car accident that also injured his granddaughter has said: "Thank God she walked away."
Thomas Campbell (50s) lost his life in the collision yesterday and his heartbroken nephew has paid tribute to him, calling him a "a good guy, who won't be forgotten."
Thomas was driving his granddaughter Elena (11) to meet a friend in Athlone when his Mercedes car was involved in a crash with a large bus on the R446 in Ballydangan shortly after 10am.
The loving grandfather was killed in the incident, while his granddaughter Elena, the bus driver and several bus passengers were brought to hospital.
Thomas' nephew Ken Campbell told Independent.ie: "We are still trying to come to terms with it all. I worked with Tommy for 16 years, he was my uncle and godfather but we were more like brothers.
"We were best friends and for a long time when we worked together we were like each other's shadows - you wouldn't see one without the other.
"Tommy was special, he was a larger than life character and will be missed by so many."
Ken said that this is the second tragedy to hit their family this year.
He explained: "Tommy's sister died just five months ago and now we will have to bury him too.
"Thank God Elena walked away from the crash and that she wasn't badly injured or worse, this could have ended so much worse if anything happened to her."
Ken said that businessman Tommy was well-liked and that his passing will leave a void in the area.
He said: "Tommy was a good guy, he would do anyone a turn, he has left behind a lot of friends who are very upset.
"He won't be forgotten about and that's for sure, his legacy will live on."
Ken stressed that he would like to extend his gratitude to the emergency services for their hard work and dedication after the tragedy.
He said: "On behalf of my family we would like to thank all the emergency services who attended and especially the two paramedics who came on the accident, Shane la Comber and Padraig Glynn."
Sinn Fein representative Dermot Connolly also said the Mr Campbell will be sorely missed.
He told Independent.ie: "It's a real shock to the community, he was so well-known and held in high regard.
"My thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends on this very sad occasion, Thomas was a nice man who always had a smile on his face.
"It's an awful situation that you wouldn't wish on any family."
Gardaí in Roscommon appealed for witnesses.
They want to hear from anyone travelling on the R446 from Ballinasloe to Athlone between 9.30am and 10.15am yesterday to contact them at Roscommon Garda Station by telephoning 090 6638300 or by contacting the Garda Confidential Telephone Line 1800-666-111 or any garda station.