Sunday 22 September 2019

'Horrendous' crash at accident black spot claims two more lives

The scene of yesterday's road crash near Newtowncunningham in Co Donegal
The scene of yesterday's road crash near Newtowncunningham in Co Donegal

Greg Harkin

The scene of a road crash which claimed the lives of two people was "absolutely horrendous", an eyewitness has said.

A woman, named locally as Orla O'Reilly, and a man in his 30s died in the horrific head-on collision involving two cars at a notorious accident black spot near Newtowncunningham in Co Donegal yesterday afternoon.

Ms O'Reilly was originally from Co Cavan but had been living near Muff in Co Donegal, where she was a youth worker.

She had been driving to work at the Loft Project in Letterkenny when tragedy occurred. Her many friends and colleagues have been left 'devastated' by her loss.

The male victim was from Derry and had been travelling in the second car with another man who is currently in a critical condition at Altnagelvin Hospital in Derry.

Sinn Fein county councillor Albert Doherty said he saw the Derry victim's black Honda car just seconds beforehand.

"It overtook me a short time beforehand," he said. "Road conditions were poor. I drove on around the bend and I came across the most horrendous scene. There was smoke everywhere.

"An engine of one car was on the other side of the road. It was just awful. I got out of the car and tried to do what I could.

"My first instinct was to ring Buncrana Garda Station because I know that number so well but I couldn't remember it at the time. .

"There was a doctor and a nurse passing and they did what they could. It was just awful."

It's understood another motorist was able to steer his vehicle out of the way of the Honda just moments earlier.

Fire crews and paramedics worked for more than two hours at the scene after the crash which happened around 2.15pm.

The stretch of road where the accident happened is notorious.

In May last year, Siobhan Hutcheon, (38), from Foyle Springs in Derry but who had been living in Muff, Co Donegal, died after a collision between her car and a bus. Her three sons were injured in the crash.

In May 2009, two men aged 21 and 19 died close to where yesterday's crash occurred.

GoSafe vans are often deployed there.

Local councillor Paul Canning, who lives 1km from the scene, said however he didn't believe the road needed to be realigned.

Irish Independent

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