Strabane woman killed in tragic road collision

Thursday, 27 April 2017

Strabane woman killed in tragic road collision thumbnailMargaret McLaughlin, from Strabane, who was killed in a road traffic collision in the town on Monday night, with her husband, Pat, who sustained non life-threatening injuries.

TRIBUTES have been paid to a Strabane woman killed in a road traffic collision in the town late on Monday night.

Margaret McLaughlin (69), from Bridge Street, was a front seat passenger in a car being driven by her husband, Pat, when it was involved in a collision with a lorry at the junction between Urney Road and the Great Northern Link at around 10.30pm.

The couple were cut free from their vehicle by firefighters using specialist cutting equipment. They were both taken to hospital but Mrs McLaughlin passed away a short-time later from injuries she sustained. Mr McLaughlin's condition has been described as stable.

Another man who tried to assist the couple before the arrival of the emergency services was treated for cuts at the scene.

A 20-year-old man - understood to be the lorry driver - was arrested at the scene and is assisting police with their enquiries.

The road was closed for several hours afterwards as accident investigators conducted investigations and re-opened again to traffic just before lunchtime yesterday (Tuesday).

In a statement, Inspector Ray Wilson said: "The collision, between a lorry and a car, took place around 10.30pm at the junction between the Urney Road and Great Northern Link.

"A short time later, 69 year-old Margaret McLaughlin, who was a front seat passenger in the car died in hospital from injuries she sustained in the collision. Her husband, who was driving, remains in hospital. He is in a stable condition with injuries which are not thought to be life-threatening at this time."

News of the pensioner's death has sent shockwaves through the community of Strabane where the McLaughlin family are held in high regard.

SDLP West Tyrone MLA., Daniel McCrossan - who was at the scene on Monday night - knows the family well.

He described Mrs McLaughlin as a "true lady" with a smile and a hello for anyone she met. He offered his condolences to the family and wished her husband a speedy recovery from the injuries he sustained. "I know the McLaughlin family well and I know that Margaret was a true lady who was well known in the area. She always offered people a friendly ‘hello' when she was out and about the town. I wish Margaret's husband Pat, who was also involved in the collision late last night, a speedy recovery from his injuries," he said.

"My deepest thoughts and prayers will be with her husband Pat, their son Aidan and daughters Bronagh, Julie and Laura at this very sad, difficult and truly heart-breaking time. Sometimes there are just no words. May Margaret rest in peace."

Sinn Féin MLA., Michaela Boyle, said a "profound sense of shock" and sadness has enveloped the town.

"On my, and my party's behalf, I extend my heartfelt sympathy to the immediate and wider McLaughlin family circle on their tragic loss.

"Both are extremely well-known and respected within this community and people are finding it difficult to come to terms with the fact that Margaret lost her life and her husband Pat was injured in such tragic circumstances not far from their home in the town.

"As always at times of such heart-breaking tragedy the community of Strabane will rally round in love and solidarity in an effort to provide some comfort to the McLaughlin family in what will be difficult days ahead," she said.

Police say investigations are continuing and have asked anyone who may have witnessed the collision to come forward.

"I would ask anyone who saw anything last night around the time of the incident that could help us with our enquiries, to contact police on the non-emergency number 101, quoting reference 1317 of 24/4/17," Inspector Wilson added.

At the time of going to press yesterday (Tuesday) afternoon, funeral details for Mrs McLaughlin had not been released.


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