Decorations are taken down early as tragic Amy's family prepare for Boxing Day funeral
Priest leads tributes to Derry woman (25) who died in horrendous smash on way home from her waitressing job in Co Donegal
The family of a young Londonderry woman killed in a road crash in Co Donegal are preparing for her funeral on Boxing Day.
Described as "a gentle soul", Amy Loughrey (25) was in Fahan travelling towards the city when her car was in a collision with another vehicle on Thursday night.
She had just completed a shift at the Red Door Country House where she worked and was on her way home to the Waterside area of Derry.
Glendermott parish priest Fr Michael Canny, who visited the family shortly after the crash, said Amy's parents and sister had been left completely devastated.
Speaking to the Belfast Telegraph, Fr Canny said: "Getting a call to visit a family in our parish in these circumstances is difficult at any time, but so close to Christmas brings added poignancy.
"Her mother was expecting her home from work and was getting anxious because she was late.
"Her worst fears were realised when she opened the door to two police officers, who told her the news.
"The family are completely devastated, as anyone could imagine, and to be in a house as other family members and friends were taking down Christmas decorations was one of the saddest things anyone could witness.
"A family that should have been celebrating Christmas will now have to prepare for a funeral on St Stephen's Day.
"The only thing the family is concentrating on for now is having Amy with them, but as a parish we will keep them in our prayers."
Amy was a former pupil of Oakgrove Integrated College in Derry.
The Red Door Country House was closed yesterday, and will also be shut today as a mark of respect.
A statement posted on its Facebook site read: "We are in the process of contacting all those with bookings and thank you in advance for your understanding. Our thoughts are with the family of our dear colleague and friend."
Tributes from those who knew Amy were left on the social media page. Among them, Patricia Doherty Tinney wrote: "RIP, Gentle Soul. God help the two families."
Another tribute from Maureen Loughrey Tolley said: "Amy was a beautiful person.
"I can't take it in."
Ms Loughrey was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash involving the car she was driving, a black Fiat, and a silver Ford Focus driven by a man in his 20s.
No one else was involved in the collision.
The Garda investigation is being led by Superintendent Eugene McGovern.
He said: "We are appealing to anyone who was on that stretch of road between 10.45pm and 10.55pm to contact us.
"I know there were other drivers on the road at the time, there were people who came on the scene almost immediately, but I am appealing to everyone who may have seen either of these vehicles before the collision occurred or at the time of the collision to contact us.
"We are trying to piece together exactly what happened, and I would like to extend my sympathy to the family of this young female.
"I would also appeal to all road users to be mindful that road conditions, which were poor at the time of this collision, are likely to remain poor as a result of the weather conditions.
"So I would ask everyone to be extremely cautious when driving."
Sinn Fein Waterside councillor Christopher Jackson said: "The local community is shocked and saddened by the death of this young woman in a road accident at Fahan.
"It's very sad that this has occurred just a few days before Christmas.
"I would like to express my sympathies to her family and friends at this time."