Belfast Telegraph

Lisburn bus death: Tragedy at depot as woman dies after being knocked down

Linda Stewart Rooney (48) was from the Lisburn area

By Nevin Farrell

A shocked bus station user has described the horrifying moment a woman was knocked down by a bus in a fatal collision.

The Ulsterbus mounted a kerb and struck a wall at a busy bus station in Lisburn's Smithfield Street.

A police spokesman today named the deceased woman as 48-year-old Linda Stewart Rooney, who was from the Lisburn area.

Inspector Barr said: "I would appeal to anyone who may have witnessed this incident to contact the Collision Investigation Unit at Steeple Police Station on the non emergency number 101."

She had been in the area of Bay Number One at Lisburn Bus Station at 10.23am yesterday when the incident unfolded.

There is a slight incline where the bus, an Optare model, was driven through the depot yard without any passengers on board.

There was speculation amongst bus users yesterday that the bus may have skidded on ice.

However, Jo-Anna McLucas (20), who was at the depot at the time, said: "There wasn't any that I seen because usually they would put the salt down to take the ice away."

Ms McLucas, who is from the Ballymacash area of Lisburn, said that if it had not been for the bitter conditions following the coldest night of the year, she would have been standing in the exact place where the collision occurred.

Ms McLucas had been out shopping in Lisburn and was waiting inside the bus station for another town service bus home. She said she normally stands outside where the bus struck the wall but the cold conditions forced her inside.

"That's the point I would usually stand at to get my bus so it is a good thing that I didn't or else I would have been hit too," she said. "I was not standing there because it was cold, I was sitting inside."

She added: "I was looking at the phone and then I heard the bang of the bus hitting the wall and I looked up to see what happened.

"I could see the driver obviously looked very upset like something terrible had happened. I could see between the bus and the wall that somebody was on the ground.

"I was a bit shocked but I can't imagine what the woman's family and the bus driver feel."

A PSNI investigation has been launched and Translink said it could not comment on the cause of the fatal collision.

Translink spokesman Ciaran Rogan said: "What we know is there was a tragic fatal accident involving one of our buses and a member of the public, a very, very tragic incident. I have to say our thoughts and sympathies are with the family and friends of the young woman.

"The exact cause and the background to the accident are subject to an investigation led by the police and we are giving the police whatever assistance we can.

"The bus driver is very badly shaken as are a number of my colleagues in the bus station itself. Clearly, it is a very distressing thing to have happened but our priority has to be to help the police and find out exactly what caused this accident."

After the accident, emergency services rushed to the bus station and members of the public were evacuated from the building. Police put up screens at the entrance gates and erected a tent at the scene of the collision.

Marguerita Gilliland (75), waiting to board a bus to Black's Road, said the bus station tragedy was "an awful thing to happen".

Lisburn mayor Andrew Ewing, said: "There is a deep sense of shock and sadness amongst the community at this death which has come totally out of the blue.

"It is sad enough at any time of year for this loss of life but coming between Christmas and New Year it seems all the worse. I would like to pass on my deepest condolences to her family and relatives."

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