Belfast Telegraph

Crash victim Ryan McCaul had battled cancer three times

By Donna Deeney

A man in his 30s who died in a two-vehicle collision in Co Londonderry had fought cancer three times, and had survived a previous serious road crash.

Ryan McCaul, who worked as a mechanical engineer in Donegal, was described as a "kind, good-hearted fella that everybody loved" by a cousin.

Mr McCaul died after the smash involving a van and a car at around 6.30am yesterday on the Foreglen Road, between Claudy and Dungiven.

Emergency services were called to the scene but he died a short time later in Altnagelvin Hospital. It was the second fatal collision on the stretch of road between Derry and Belfast in the past month.

Loreto Douglas (64) lost her life on November 28 in a crash near the Ponderosa Bar, a few miles away from the scene of yesterday's accident.

Paying tribute to his cousin, Sinn Fein councillor Tony McCaul said the entire community of Drum and Gortnaghy had been shocked by the news of Ryan's passing.

Speaking to the Belfast Telegraph, Mr McCaul said: "Ryan was such a lovely young man who hasn't had an easy life.

"He was diagnosed with cancer three times and was in another serious road collision a few years ago, but despite everything he went through he always had a smile on his face.

"He ran marathons to raise funds for cancer charities and it was not that long ago that he completed the New York marathon.

"Ryan was a good, kindhearted fella that everybody loved. He wasn't married but lived at home with his parents.

"I was with his parents and his brother and sister earlier and they are just in pieces, as you would imagine, they are devastated, totally distraught."

The Ulster University sports club, where Mr McCaul had been a member, also paid tribute. Writing on the club's Facebook page it described him as an "absolute gentleman with a huge heart".

A spokesman added: "Ryan loved playing pool with the club and enjoyed the weekends away playing in tournaments with us, as we did with him.

"We will enjoy a few racks together again in the next life. Rest in peace, my friend."

Mr McCaul's fellow councillor, Ulster Unionist Darryl Wilson, offered his condolences.

He said: "I am deeply saddened to learn of yet another death on the roads within the Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council area. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends at this very sad time."

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