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Horror on the highway

Youth (17) dies and six more in hospital after three-vehicle collision

By Ashleigh Wallace and Linda McKee

A 17-year-old youth has died following a horror road smash in Co Fermanagh. A total of seven people, including two young children, were rushed to hospital following the collision which occurred at around 4.20pm yesterday on the main A4 Belfast to Enniskillen road at the Tempo turn-off, close to Brookeborough village.

The scene is around 400 metres from the home of Environment Minister Arlene Foster.

The collision involved a Ford car, a lorry and a four-wheel drive pick-up truck which was towing a trailer carrying tree surgery equipment, including a shredding machine, chainsaws and petrol.

Three men in the truck had to be cut from their vehicle by firefighters who rushed to the scene. It is understood two are brothers from Belfast and are tree surgeons.

The driver of the lorry, an adult and two children in the Ford and the three men in the pick-up truck were all rushed to the Erne Hospital in Enniskillen.

Two men were later transferred to Belfast's Royal Victoria Hospital. One of them was undergoing surgery this morning at the Royal, while the other was in a critical condition in the hospital's intensive care unit.

A police spokeswoman confirmed this morning that a 17-year-old male had died at the Erne Hospital as a result of the crash.

The remaining victims, including a seven-year-old boy and a 10-year-old girl, were still in hospital with injuries which were not thought to be life-threatening.

A spokeswoman for the Western Trust said: "Two adults and two children remain in the Erne Hospital where they are receiving treatment for their injuries and are described as stable and comfortable.

"Staff at the Erne Hospital have expressed their deepest sadness and condolences to the family of the bereaved."

A Brookeborough man who was on the accident scene moments after the collision said there had been heavy traffic on the busy road before the three-vehicle pile-up.

It is understood that a small fire which started in the trailer of the pick-up was extinguished by a member of the public.

Yesterday's horror smash was the fourth serious road accident in Co Fermanagh over a four-day period.

One casualty was taken to hospital on Friday following a collision in Ederney, while six people were injured in Ballinamallard on Saturday night.

And on Sunday, a road-user had to be airlifted to Belfast City Hospital following a collision in Belleek.

Police closed the busy road in both directions.

A PSNI spokesman urged anyone who witnessed the collision to come forward.

Belfast Telegraph

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