Belfast Telegraph

Tributes to pensioner who died after vintage tractor he was driving crashes on Cookstown dual carriageway

By Joanne Sweeney

A pensioner who died following a collision between his tractor and a car has been described as "very popular and well-liked" and "highly regarded".

Victor Wylie, believed to be in his late 60s, was travelling along the Cookstown to Moneymore dual carriageway when the collision with a blue Honda 4x4 took place at around 9.30am yesterday.

In a tragic twist, it is understood that one of his brothers had been nearby - and also on a tractor - as they both made their way to the start of a vintage tractor run to Ballyclare.

His brother is believed to have been travelling in front when the crash happened, the force of which caused the tractor to overturn.

The father of a disabled adult son, Mr Wylie was retired and a popular member of the Mid Ulster Vintage Vehicles Club.

He died at the scene just one-and-a-half miles away from where the charity event was to start in Moneymore, Co Derry, yesterday.

It had been due to take place over two days, finishing tomorrow, but has now been cancelled after news of Mr Wylie's death.

A spokesman for the club spoke of shock and sadness.

"Victor had been a very popular and well-liked member who was a regular at committee meetings, attended many of our tractor runs and provided much help in organising our annual vintage rally at Springhill," he said.

"He always had a smile and a quick wit.

"His involvement with the club stretches back over 30 years and he will be sadly missed."

The male driver of the Honda 4X4 was taken to Antrim Area Hospital to be treated for his injuries which were not thought to be life-threatening. Three fire appliances attended the crash scene and the road was closed for a time.

PSNI Inspector Keith Hicks is appealing for anyone who may have witnessed the collision to contact police in Cookstown or the collision investigation unit at Steeple police station on the non-emergency number 101.

Meanwhile, Wylie family friend and DUP Mid-Ulster MLA Ian McCrea spoke of his shock.

"Having known the family circle for many years, I was shocked and deeply saddened to hear the news of the tragic death of Victor in a road traffic collision on the Cookstown to Moneymore dual carriageway," he said.

"I want to assure the entire family circle of my thoughts and prayers at this time and I have no doubt that the entire community will come together to support them over the days and weeks ahead."

Ulster Unionist Cookstown councillor Trevor Wilson described the loss of the Cookstown man as "particularly poignant", as he was involved in charity work when he died.

"The people in Cookstown are in deep shock over the loss of his man who was highly regarded," he said.

"He was well-known in the community and his loss will be a devastating blow to his family and friends.

"My thoughts and prayers are with them at this terrible time."

The Mid Ulster Vintage Vehicles Club has raised more than £24,000 for Brainwave NI this year.

The money from the Ballyclare run was to aid the Northern Ireland Hospice and Northern Ireland Children's Hospice.

Mr Wylie is survived by his son, three brothers and a sister and his funeral service is likely to be held at his family's church, Sandholes Presbyterian, outside Cookstown.

He was known to have worked at CFC Interiors in Cookstown, which is run by his sister's family.

He is the 37th person to have lost their lives in road traffic accidents this year and the second man to have died in an accident involving a tractor.

Belfast Telegraph

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