Belfast Telegraph

Man dies in crash horror: Altnagelvin Hospital closes A&E unit to deal with seriously injured

By Donna Deeney

A man aged 62 has died following a two-vehicle crash in Tyrone.

Four other people were seriously injured in the collision on the Melmount Road between Sion Mills and Victoria Bridge yesterday morning and rushed to Altnagelvin Hospital in Londonderry.

The severity of their injuries prompted the hospital to close its A&E to all but most serious cases and call on the public to stay away.

The dead man was a passenger in a blue Toyota Avensis registered in the Republic.

He was one of four people travelling in the car which was in collision with a black Suzuki Vitara 4WD driven by a man in his 40s.

Two women – one in her 50s and one in her 20s – along with a second man in his 20s were in a serious condition in hospital last night.

The Suzuki driver is understood to be in a critical condition.

Emergency services arrived at the scene shortly after 11am.

Firemen began cutting passengers out of the mangled wreckage of the Toyota, and ambulance staff administered first aid to all five injured before they were rushed to hospital.

The 62-year-old man was declared dead several hours later.

A police cordon closed off the section of the road while the investigation into the cause of the crash continued.

The carriageway at the scene of the collision is described as reasonably straight with a good line of sight, but locals said that yesterday the sun was low in the sky and had the potential to dazzle drivers.

Many of the motorists diverted onto the back roads away from the crash site had their sun visors down protecting them against the glare of the sunlight which was also reflecting off the wet surface.

Colin Clarke has lived in the area all his life and has witnessed many other crashes, some of which also included fatalities.

He said: "This is a sad day for whoever is in those two cars but it is certainly not the first time someone has lost their life on that road.

"In fact a man was killed a few miles down the road on Boxing Day just past and it can be a tricky road if you are not used to it.

"I can recall that there have been some really bad accidents along that road my entire life. Maybe now someone will do something about it."

Appealing for witnesses, a police spokesman said: "Police would appeal to anyone who witnessed the collision or who was travelling on the Melmount Road around the time of the collision to contact them at Steeple Police Station or Strabane Police Station on 0845 600 8000."

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