Belfast Telegraph

Keith McWilliams killed by log trailer road tragedy in Northern Ireland

By Brett Campbell and Cate McCurry

A pedestrian killed after being struck by a van carrying logs in Co Down has been named as Keith McWilliams.

The Warrenpoint man was near his home which he is understood to have travelled regularly when the accident happened.

Tributes have been paid to Mr McWilliams, who is aged in his 60s, following the horrific accident yesterday morning.

The incident, which happened at around 10.30am, has left the local community in shock.

Eyewitnesses reported that a trailer had broken free from a vehicle on the Rostrevor Road.

The road was closed and diversions were put in place between Well Road, Springfield Road and Moygannon Road. However, following police investigations the road was reopened to the public late last night.

The area where the man was killed is popular with walkers as it runs along Carlingford Lough.

Sinn Féin's Sinéad Ennis said she was saddened to hear of the death.

"The people of Warrenpoint are deeply shocked at such a devastating tragedy but no doubt they will rally around the McWilliams family at this time," she said.

"I want to extend my sincere condolences to his wife, family and friends at this deeply sad time."

Outgoing SDLP MP Margaret Ritchie offered her condolences following the "heartbreaking tragedy" which she said serves as a poignant reminder for everybody to take care on the road.

"I am greatly saddened to hear of the news of a local man who tragically lost his life," she said.

"This tragedy once again highlights the dangers that we face on our roads.

"I would urge everyone to take due care whilst on the road."

The SDLP's Sinead Bradley, who has spoken to many local residents following the accident, also expressed her "heartfelt sympathies" to the family and loved ones of the victim.

"I believe it is fair to say the Warrenpoint community is in shock," she said.

"People are coming to terms with the fact that a life has been pulled from us in such a sudden and dramatic way."

The South Down MLA said the beauty of the area in which the tragedy occurred attracts an endless stream of walkers all year around, particularly when the weather is good.

"Amidst the pleasant surroundings on a beautiful sunny day, none of us anticipate circumstances unfolding in a way that would result in the tragic loss of life," she added.

"Tributes must be paid to the local Fire and Rescue team who swiftly arrived at the scene, and to the Ambulance Service and the PSNI who stepped in to bring dignity and order under such difficult circumstances."

Councillor Declan McAteer said that he understood the trailer that was carrying bags of logs became loose. "It just fell off and ploughed right into him as he was out for a walk," he said.

"It just seems to be a very unfortunate tragedy and will come as a terrible shock to the family.

"Most people in Warrenpoint walk that road every day and I believe he walked it regularly.

"It's very popular stretch of road that runs along the sea."

Police are appealing for anyone who witnessed the incident to get in touch with police on the number 101.

Mr McWilliams is survived by his wife Ellen, brother Nigel, sister Denise and the family circle.

His funeral arrangements have yet to be confirmed.

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