A refuse worker has died after being hit by the bin lorry he was working on in County Londonderry.
Father-of-two John Winton, 51, who was also a part-time firefighter, died from his injuries after the collision in Limavady at around 7.30am on Tuesday.
The Police Service of Northern Ireland confirmed Mr Winton’s death on Tuesday afternoon.
Inspector Siobhan Watt said: “John Winton, a cleansing operative, died as a result of injuries he sustained in a collision with the refuse collection vehicle he was working on.”
Northern Ireland’s chief fire and rescue officer, Gary Thompson, said Mr Winton was a dedicated and popular member of the service.
John was a dedicated firefighter serving his home town with distinction and he was extremely popular amongst his colleaguesGary Thompson
“Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service (NIFRS) is devastated to learn of the death of our colleague firefighter John Winton who died this morning in an off-duty incident.
“On behalf of NIFRS, I extend our sincere sympathies and condolences to John’s family, his mother Margaret and his children Lisa and Gavin, at this difficult time.
“John was a retained firefighter at Limavady Fire Station, having joined NIFRS almost two years ago on November 19 2016.
“His untimely death at the age of 51 will be greatly felt by all who knew and worked with him.
“John was a dedicated firefighter serving his home town with distinction and he was extremely popular amongst his colleagues.
“His death will be felt across the entire service and the NIFRS family.
There is widespread shock in the community and a sense of disbelief that such a tragedy should happenMLA for East Derry John Dallat
“John’s colleagues from Limavady Fire Station and neighbouring stations of Dungiven and Crescent Link attended the incident this morning which happened on Mount Eden, Limavady at 7.36am.
“NIFRS is offering support to John’s family and his colleagues at this difficult time.”
Speaking on behalf of local SDLP councillors on Causeway Coast and Glens Council group, Cllr John Deighan said:
“Our deepest sympathy goes out to the family and friends of the person who lost their life in a tragic accident involving a bin lorry operated by Causeway Coast and Glens Council.
“Loss is never easy, but in circumstances such as this in the lead up to Christmas it is particularly difficult to deal with.
The councillors were joined by their MLA for East Derry John Dallat who said: “There is widespread shock in the community and a sense of disbelief that such a tragedy should happen.
“Our council empties thousands of bins daily without mishap.
“On this occasion something happened and until we read the independent reports prepared by the PSNI and Health and Safety Executive it would be unwise to speculate, but instead offer our prayers for all affected by this incident.”
An investigation is under way to establish the full circumstances of the incident and police have appealed to any witnesses to contact them at the collision investigation unit on 101, quoting reference number 195 of 06/11/18.