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Injured teen quizzed after brother and cousin Michael and Aaron McDonald killed in car he was driving in Derry crash

By Donna Deeney

Published 04/06/2015

The remains of the Volkswagen Golf are removed from the crash scene
The remains of the Volkswagen Golf are removed from the crash scene
The wreckage of the car in which two people died lies in a hedge
The scene of the accident on Victoria Road

A teenager has been quizzed by police about a car crash that claimed the life of his brother and cousin.

Dylan McDonald (18) was arrested on suspicion of dangerous driving hours after the car he was driving came off the Victoria Road on the outskirts of Newbuildings near Londonderry at 3.30am yesterday.

He was later released pending further inquiries

His brother Michael McDonald (21) and cousin Aaron McDonald (19), both from Donemana in Co Tyrone, who were back-seat passengers in the black Volkswagen Golf, died at the scene.

Dylan McDonald and a third passenger, 16-year-old Jodie Pomeroy from the Waterside in Derry, were transferred to Altnagelvin Hospital. Both were released yesterday afternoon.

Chief Inspector Alan Hutton urged anyone who was on the road from 3am to 3.30am and saw the black Golf travelling towards Derry to contact police.

He said: "Sadly, two young men lost their lives in a road traffic collision on the Victoria Road and it looks like just one vehicle was involved.

"Our first thoughts are with the families of those involved; this is a very, very difficult time for the families but also for the wider community who have lost two young men from society.

"The two men who died were related - they were in fact cousins - so this is very much a personal story. People's lives have been impacted.

"There is nothing more tragic in life than the loss of a young life. This is the emotion that parents are fearing most, the knock on door with this message."

While the exact cause of the crash has yet to be established, Chief Inspector Hutton made a special appeal to young motorists to pay attention to their driving.

He said: "I would appeal to all motorists, particularly the young, to think about their driving, act within the law, take care on speed, wear a seatbelt and leave the phone in the glove box.

"Last year we had a particularly bad year, this year the numbers are even higher. So far across Northern Ireland there have been 28 sad losses of life, and here in this district we now have four people killed.

"The road where this crash took place is the main arterial road between Derry and Strabane. It is well laid out, however there are opportunities for people to travel at speed. I wouldn't want to comment on the cause of this particular accident, but it is one where people can travel at excess speed."

Foyle MLA Gary Middleton, who lives near the crash scene, said the community is stunned.

He said: "Our thoughts are very much with the families of the two young men who have lost their lives so tragically and suddenly and of the other two young people injured.

"Sadly, this is not the first time people have lost their lives on this road, but the loss of another life on our roads is always a difficult thing and I am sure the friends and neighbours of the bereaved families here will do everything they can to support them in the tragic days to come."

Derry and Strabane mayor Elisha McCallion offered her condolences. She said: "I was shocked and dismayed to hear the tragic news of the loss of two young lives on our roads earlier today. My thoughts and prayers go out to the families of the young people involved. It is a huge loss to their families, friends and the entire local community."

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