Belfast Telegraph

Motorway closed after man killed in horror one-vehicle crash during storm

By Allan Preston

Drives have told of their horror after a crash on the M1 Motorway yesterday afternoon left one man dead.

He was driving a grey Honda Civic when he crashed on the Belfast-bound lane near Tamnamore, between junctions 13 and 14

Part of the motorway was closed in both directions yesterday, causing hours of tailbacks for many drivers.

John McPoland from the Ambulance Service said it was alerted to the crash at 12.37pm.

It's understand the man died at the scene.

Dungannon Ulster Unionist councillor Walter Cuddy said: "It looks like a man driving towards Belfast lost control of his car completely.

"A friend of my daughter's was in the car behind and saw it all happen.

"She's 25, and would be a balanced young girl, and described it as a horrendous accident.

"She's in a really bad state as she saw it all first-hand. I believe he was at the Loughgall turn-off and heading to Belfast when he lost control.

"I couldn't say what speed he was going, but there was very heavy rain at the time with the storm.

"It's just very sad at the mouth of Christmas. I've heard that just one car was involved, that it spun round and may have caught fire. A young person wouldn't have seen an accident like that before, and it's pretty stressful."

He added: "That section of the motorway isn't a straight part. You come round from Dungannon from the Coalisland turn-off over the Blackwater River. There's a few fairly tight corners. There has been a history of accidents on that stretch over the last decade."

Glen Millar from Portadown contacted the Belfast Telegraph to say his partner Ruthann had also witnessed the crash and was left deeply shaken.

He said: "She was taking the children to Dungannon to the cinema. A silver car came past her and lost control at the Loughgall turn-off."

He said he understood the car was badly damaged after hitting a road sign with four concrete pillars at the turn-off. "Ruthann was on the phone to me and frantic with stress. I told her to get off the phone and just get home," he explained.

"She was very shaken, it sounds horrific. The road conditions were horrendous. I was out in my van and would usually do 50mph, but the rain was that bad I slowed right down to 30mph and still had difficulty seeing.

"At one stage the rain was literally torrential. I can't help but think this man's family might be out shopping and don't know. What if he has children?"

"All these things are going through Ruthann's head. She lost her brother six years ago to a car accident. It's brought a lot of things home to her."

Ulster Unionist MLA for Fermanagh and South Tyrone Rosemary Barton passed on her condolences.

"While I'm not aware of the details and circumstances of the road traffic collision, I understand there may have been a casualty," she said.

"I would appeal to everyone to be particularly careful at this time of year on the roads as changing weather conditions pose an extreme hazard.

"My immediate thoughts and prayers are with everyone involved."

Police have appealed for any witnesses who saw the crash to contact the non-emergency number 101 quoting reference number 566 for December 23.

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph