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Co Derry community devastated by 20-year-old's road death

 Dylan McNicholl (20) was struck by a van on the Tirkeeran Road

A Co Derry community has been left “devastated” after a young man died after being knocked down as he walked along a quiet country road.

Dylan McNicholl was struck by a van on the Tirkeeran Road in Glenullin at around 7.40am on Thursday.

He was a student at North West Regional College in Limavady and it is understood he regularly walked the two and a half miles to and from Garvagh to catch a bus to classes. In 1999 his uncle Sean was also killed in a car accident in Glenullin - just 10 days after the family had buried their mother.

The 20-year-old lived with his parents Seamus and Ann at their nearby home.

His distraught parents and three brothers, Ryan, Karl and Jack, were being comforted by family and friends last night.

Mr McNicholl was a student at North West Regional College in Limavady and it is understood he regularly walked the two and a half miles to and from Garvagh to catch a bus for classes.

A former pupil of St Paul's College, Kilrea, it is believed he wanted to work with marine wildlife.

It is the second road tragedy to hit the McNicholl family - in 1999 his uncle Sean was killed in a car accident in Glenullin.

Former Derry GAA county board chairman Gerard O’Kane is a first cousin of Mr McNicholl’s father and knew the dead man well.

He said the local people are stunned by the loss of such a popular figure.

“He was jolly, good craic and always had something to say to you and would always be able to acknowledge you,” he said.

“He was always full of life but was a very level headed fellow.”

“It’s unbelievable, everybody is devastated."

The van driver, believed to be aged in his 30s, was arrested but later released on police bail pending further enquiries.

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