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Northern Ireland road death toll creeps up to 54 after two more crashes

By David Young

Published 25/09/2015

The scene on the Tobermore Road in Magherafelt after a motorist died in an accident last night
The scene on the Tobermore Road in Magherafelt after a motorist died in an accident last night
Previous tragedies: DUP’s Paul McLean

Two men have died as a result of collisions on Northern Ireland's roads.

One man died after a car hit a tree in Co Londonderry yesterday evening, while an 84-year-old man succumbed to injuries he received after his vehicle collided with a police car on the M1 on Monday.

The pensioner has been named locally as Phil Smyth from Armagh.

The latest fatality occurred in the Magherafelt area at around 6.40pm yesterday.

Ambulance Service emergency medics rushed to the Tobermore Road, but it is understood the man died at the scene.

DUP councillor Paul McLean said that there had been deaths on the same road in the past.

"That road has a history," he said. "There have been at least four fatalities on that road since I have been on the council.

"It's been resurfaced recently, and it has some tight bends.

"I'm afraid there will be bad news for some family tonight." After the accident the PSNI closed the Tobermore Road while officers carried out an investigation at the scene.

Diversions were put in place at the junction of Grange Road and Glenmaquill Road and the police advised motorists to seek an alternative route for their journey.

Meanwhile, Mr Smyth died in hospital late on Wednesday night after being involved in a motorway crash with a police car, the PSNI said yesterday.

The elderly motorist was driving his Volkswagen the wrong way along the M1 between Lurgan and Moira early on Monday when his car hit a stationary police vehicle.It is understood a PSNI officer was also injured in the crash.

The Police Ombudsman's office is investigating the incident.

The two deaths bring to 54 the number of people killed on Northern Ireland's roads so far in 2015.

This is a slightly lower figure than last year, when 58 people had died by this point in the year.

Earlier, one man was cut out of a vehicle at 10.30am on the main Ballykelly to Derry Road after a two-car collision.

That was followed by an accident at Main Street in Waterfoot, Co Antrim, at 1pm involving two cars. An elderly man and woman were cut free and rushed to hospital.

At 2pm, emergency services were called to a collision on Shore Road, where a vehicle had crashed. A man aged 50 was rushed to the Royal Victoria Hospital with leg injuries.

In Kilrea, Co Derry, ambulance personnel also attended a two-car incident on the Drumcroone Road.

And in Moira, Co Down, four ambulance crews attended after a car and a 4x4 vehicle collided. There were six male casualties - two were described as having serious injuries.

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