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Family in shock at crash death of student Danica Nugent 'who had the whole world at her feet'

By Erinn Kerr

Published 07/09/2015

Danica Nugent who died yesterday in a road crash in Crossmaglen
Danica Nugent who died yesterday in a road crash in Crossmaglen
Danica Nugent who died yesterday in a road crash in Crossmaglen

A 23-year-old student who was killed in a car crash at the weekend has been described "a bright light" in the lives of her family.

Danica Nugent died in a one-vehicle collision on the Newry Road, near Crossmaglen, early yesterday morning.

A 25-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of a number of motoring offences following the incident.

Danica leaves behind brothers Matthew and Ethan, her parents Damian and Siobhan, grandparents Mary and Eugene Riley and Peggy Nugent as well as uncles, aunts and cousins.

She was the niece of Sinn Fein MLA Cathal Boylan. Mr Boylan, who is married to Danica's aunt, told the Belfast Telegraph the family were "completely devastated" by her death.

"Everybody is in absolute shock that Danica is gone," he said.

"She was such a bright, popular and loving girl, everyone who met her loved her."

Danica, who was from Keady, south Armagh, had just graduated from Queen's University and was due to begin studying for her Masters.

It is understood that she was travelling home from a party when the crash happened.

Her uncle said she had "the whole world at her feet" and the family couldn't believe she had been taken from them so early.

He added: "Her friends and family are absolutely devastated, a bright light in all our lives has gone out."

Danica's death comes just two weeks after Peter Hughes, Gavin Sloan and Conall Havern, also from the south Armagh and south Down areas, lost their lives in a two-car collision on the A1.

The three Queen's students were travelling back from visiting their new student house in Belfast.

Danica's death brings the total number of people killed on our roads this year to 47. The total number of people killed last year was 79.

Sinn Fein councillor for Slieve Gullion, Terry Hearty, told the Belfast Telegraph that the community was "heartbroken" that another tragedy had struck so soon.

He said: "On Sunday morning the community were all out near the scene of the crash and they were in complete shock that the young woman had lost her life on their doorstep.

"This is every parent's worst nightmare, that your child would go out for the night and not get home safely."

Mr Hearty has been campaigning to have the B30 road, where the accident happened, upgraded.

"This is a very dangerous stretch of road and leads on to a narrow bridge, we will continue to work towards improving it," he said.

Police are appealing for any witnesses to the crash to contact them.

A police spokesperson said: "The collision occurred on the Newry Road shortly before 3.30am.

"A 25-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of a number of motoring offences.

"Anyone who was travelling on the Newry Road and who witnessed the collision is asked to contact local police in Newry or the Collision Investigation Unit on the non-emergency number 101."

Geraldine Donnelly, SDLP councillor for Slieve Gullion, said: "I want to offer my deepest condolences to the family of the young woman who lost her life and the family of the young man who was arrested as well.

"We have been lobbying for years for the B30 to be upgraded as it is a very dangerous road and very narrow in places.

"Creggan bridge itself is very narrow too.

"This is a very sad time and it will be extremely difficult for the young man involved to come to terms with what has happened."

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