Belfast Telegraph

Crash driver (18) charged as passenger fights for life

By Donna Deeney

Police have charged an 18-year-old man with a number of driving offences after a collision that left a young woman fighting for her life.

The female passenger, who is in her 20s, was in a serious condition in hospital last night after sustaining head and neck injuries in the crash on the outskirts of Londonderry on Wednesday evening.

The driver was charged last night with causing grievous bodily injury by driving carelessly when unfit; causing grievous bodily injury by driving carelessly with excess alcohol, and driving when unfit through drink or drugs.

He is expected to appear before Derry Magistrates Court today.

Police are appealing to anyone who was driving on the Clooney Road dual-carriageway and witnessed the collision to get in touch with them.

Inspector Mark Knowles said: "Police received a report of a one-vehicle road traffic collision close to the Enagh turn-off, between the Gransha roundabout and the Maydown roundabout, involving a silver-coloured Renault Clio at around 9:45pm.

"We are appealing to anyone who was on the Clooney Road on Wednesday night around the time of the collision and witnessed the collision, or who saw the vehicle travelling on the Clooney Road, to contact police at Strand Road on the non-emergency number 101, quoting reference 1595 of 20/12/17."

The Renault Clio remained at the scene of the crash until yesterday afternoon.

A specialist crane had to be brought in to lift and remove the vehicle.

Foyle MLA Mark H Durkan, who lives near the scene of the crash, said: "First and foremost, my thoughts are with this young woman, who I understand has been very badly hurt, and her family too.

"I spoke with the police about the need to implement a traffic control system to improve the flow of traffic while they carry out their work in situations like this, because, sadly, this is a scene we see along this road all too frequently.

"In this incidence police agreed to split the city-bound side of the carriageway into lanes going both directions, which is an option I would like to see them consider in similar situations."

Belfast Telegraph

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