Belfast Telegraph

Derry man Emmett McClelland who died in car crash had just celebrated baby son's christening

By Donna Deeney

A young father who died after being struck by a car in Co Donegal just before midnight on Saturday had been celebrating his baby son's christening earlier in the day.

The victim has been named locally as Emmett McClelland, from the Shantallow area of Londonderry.

It is understood Mr McClelland, who was in his 20s, was pronounced dead in the early hours of yesterday morning in Altnagelvin Hospital from injuries he sustained in the collision with a silver Opel Omega car in Bridgend.

A second pedestrian, also in his 20s and who was with Mr McClelland, was hit by the vehicle at the same time.

However, his injuries are not thought to be serious.

A man in his 30s - believed to be the driver of the car, which was understood to have been coming from Derry - was arrested at the scene on suspicion of dangerous driving and taken to Buncrana Garda Station for questioning. Friends of Mr McClelland's partner Jade McCallion offered their sympathies to the grieving mum and her young sons. One poignant tribute read: "Always believe that he is looking over and guiding you and in time it will get you through this heartbreaking time. Stay as strong as possible love."

Another said: "Jade, I am so sorry for your loss, thinking about you all on such heartbreaking times."

Derry and Strabane District independent councillor Warren Robinson, who knows the family, offered his condolences. Mr Robinson said: "This terrible tragedy will be devastating for the entire family. It is horrendous news for any mother to get but to receive this on Mother's Day is particularly heartbreaking.

"This hasn't been an easy year for the family, who were already dealing with the loss of a husband and father.

"For a day of such joy and celebration to end in such a painful loss of life is difficult for any of us to imagine and I can only extend my deepest condolences to the entire family circle at this very sad time."

SDLP councillor Brian Tierney said the entire community has been stunned by the news.

He said: "The tragic death of this young man has left everyone in the local community shocked and saddened.

"These will be extremely difficult days for the family but I have no doubt the neighbours and wider community will rally around them and support them in any way they can."

A Garda spokeswoman said: "Gardai are appealing for witnesses to the incident to contact them at Buncrana Garda Station on 074 9320540.

"Gardai are, in particular, appealing to a couple who flagged down a Garda patrol car at a filling station in Bridgend and reported the crash, to make contact with Buncrana Garda Station."

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