Northern Ireland news

Teenage road victim was a 'warm and friendly' young woman

Laura Szewc died following a collision on the outskirts of Derry on Wednesday night.
Seamus McKinney

A DERRY teenager killed in a car crash on the outskirts of the city on Wednesday night has been described as a “friendly, warm and loving young woman.”

The 18-year-old, named locally as Laura Szewc, died when the Vauxhall Corsa car she was a passenger in was involved in a collision at Nixon’s Corner on the main Derry to Letterkenny Road around 11.30pm.

A police spokesman said: “Two other females were taken to hospital for treatment for their injuries. No other vehicles were involved in the collision.”

From Derry’s Galliagh area, Ms Szewc’s father was from Poland. She was a former pupil at St Brigid’s college in the city and had been working at the city centre Travel Lodge hotel in recent months.

Lawrence McClenaghan of the Headliners’ youth journalism charity knew Ms Szewc through her participation in a recent film project.

The Derry journalist the teenager was a “friendly, warm and loving young woman.”

Mr McClenaghan said: “This is shocking. She was a confident and enthusiastic young person. She completely engaged in Headliners. Laura was an absolute credit to her family.”

Ms Szewc’s death also sparked an outpouring of grief and shock on social media. Friends inundated her Facebook site with messages of sympathy.

Taneshia McDaid said her heart was broken.

Ms McDaid said: “Laura you were an amazing person, always had a smile on your fact no matter what the days were throwing at you; always so kind and loving; will be missed by us all. Beautiful. Love you lots.”

Another friend, Shanice Boyle described Ms Szewc as “the funniest person.”

She said: “You were the life of the party. Sleep tight beautiful.”

Foyle MP Elisha McCallion said news of the tragedy has caused shock throughout the city.

“This death is a terrible tragedy and will be devastating for the young woman’s family. Any death on our roads is one too many. I want to express my sympathies to the friends and family of the young woman who lost her life at this sad and difficult time,” she said.

SDLP assembly member Mark H Durkan also expressed his condolences.

“It is heart breaking that a young life with so much potential and many happy years ahead of her has been taken so soon,” Mr Durkan said.

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