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Young mum Natasha Carruthers dies in Fermanagh crash

By Chris McCullough

The family of a young mother who lost her life in Fermanagh when the car she was in veered off a road and struck a tree are "totally stunned by the terrible news", a minister has said.

Natasha Carruthers' car was travelling in the direction of Lisnaskea from Derrylin on a straight section of the Newbridge Road when it crashed just as it was climbing to the top of a hill on Saturday night.

The 23-year-old woman has a one-year-old daughter and is from the Letterbreen area.

According to police, the other two people in the car, a male and a female also in their 20s, were taken to hospital with injuries which are believed to be serious.

Ms Carruthers' family released a statement via the Rev Canon Ian Ellis, Rector of Rossorry Parish Church, Enniskillen.

It said: "I called with her family today and they are totally stunned by the terrible news that she lost her life in a tragic road traffic accident.

"They received that news from the PSNI in the early hours of Sunday morning and are still in great shock and trying to come to terms with this reality which is every parent's worst nightmare.

"Their immediate family and friends are providing great support and the parish and wider community will, I know, offer help and assistance to the family circle through this most difficult of times.

"Our prayers and thoughts are focused upon them as they grieve this most dreadful loss of a dear daughter. Funeral arrangements are still to be made, and will be issued later."

Some family friends gathered at the scene on Sunday to place flowers and to pay their respects to Natasha and the others who were injured.

Catherine Maguire from Enniskillen was visibly emotional when she left flowers by the roadside.

She said: "Natasha was a lovely girl who loved her young daughter so much. It is really sad to hear this news. I know Natasha's sister, who does my makeup. It's a sad day for the entire family. I send them all my condolences."

One of the residents who lives close to the scene ran out to see what had happened. Preferring to remain anonymous, he said: "It happened around midnight on Saturday night. It was a small car that was travelling towards Lisnaskea on this straight section of road.

"For some reason the car veered off to the right approaching a hill and crashed into a tree. It really was a horrific sight.

"This was the fourth or fifth fatality on this road in a similar number of years."

Ulster Unionist MLA Rosemary Barton said: "My immediate thoughts and prayers are with the family of the deceased.

"The roads can be a dangerous place. I appeal to all motorists to travel with caution and keep safety to the foremost of their thoughts and actions."

Meanwhile, Ulster Unionist councillor for the area Alex Baird said: "Sadly, another family have been plunged into mourning today following this fatal accident.

"I want to send all my thoughts and prayers to the family at this sad time."

PSNI Inspector Marie Stinton said: "Anyone who witnessed the collision or who may have information that could assist the investigation is asked to contact the Collision Investigation Unit by calling 101, quoting reference number 1852 07/10/17."

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