Belfast Telegraph

Sunday Life

Tributes to tragic teen Shannon McQuillan struck by van in Toome

By Christopher Woodhouse

A teenager was killed and her boyfriend is fighting for his life after being knocked down as they walked home from a night out.

Ulster University law and criminology student Shannon McQuillan (19), from Dunloy, died after she and her boyfriend Owen McFerran were struck by a van in the early hours of Saturday morning.

The pair were making their way home along the Moneynick Road outside Toomebridge at around 3.40am when the incident happened.

Ms McQuillan, a former St Louis Grammar School pupil, died as a result of her injuries while Mr McFerran, who is from Ballymoney, is in a very serious condition in hospital.

Her sister Charlene posted a tribute to her on Facebook, writing: “Fly high my beautiful sister. Love you.”

The post was met with a flood of sympathy messages from friends and family.

Mr McFerran’s cousin Katrina Cushenan posted: “We ask that you hold our cousin Owen McFerran in your prayers, who is currently in hospital putting up a good fight.

“We have faith in your strength that you will make it through. Our thoughts and prayers also go out to his girlfriend and her family during this difficult time.”

North Antrim Sinn Fein MLA Philip McGuigan who knew Shannon said: “I know this young girl and I know her family well. I would be speaking to her father almost on a daily basis.

“She was at university and had a bright future so to have lost her life so young in these circumstances is hard to take.  All our thoughts and prayers are with her family who are obviously devastated.

“We are also thinking and praying for the young fella from Ballymoney who is injured and for his family.”

The mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council, DUP councillor Paul Hamill, told Sunday Life: “The tragedy is that a woman of 19 years old has lost her life and a young man of 21 is seriously ill in hospital.

“We just have to be thinking and praying for the families at this time.”

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