Northern Ireland news

Man in eighties killed on `notorious' stretch of road

Two people were killed in the crash

A MAN in his eighties and woman in her forties have been killed in a crash on a "notorious" stretch of road.

Police said a lorry, a silver Skoda Fabia, and a bronze Ford Focus were all involved in a collision shortly before 3pm on the A1.

The crash occurred on the north-bound carriageway at the Moneymore Road junction yesterday.

While the circumstances were unclear, roads experts highlighted that it took place at one of the A1's "notorious gap junctions" where vehicles can turn right across the central reservation.

It is understood the two victims were travelling in the Skoda. The man died at the scene and the woman a short time later in hospital.

The Northern Ireland Ambulance Service said it received a 999 call at 2.33pm following reports of a collision.

It despatched a rapid response paramedic, two emergency crews, one non-emergency crew and a BASICS doctor to the scene. The charity air ambulance was also tasked.

Following initial treatment at the scene, one patient was taken to the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast and another to Daisy Hill Hospital in Newry.

The patient at Daisy Hill Hospital was said to be in a stable condition. Belfast Health Trust gave no update on the condition of the patient at the Royal.

Commentator Wesley Johnston pointed out that the collision "occurred at one of the A1's notorious `gap junctions' where vehicles can turn right across the central reservation".

He added that the Department for Infrastructure had no plans to upgrade this stretch of the A1, which opened in 2006.

There have been multiple fatalities on the main Belfast to Dublin road in recent years.

In May this year, Karl Heaney (27) from the Warrenpoint area died after his car collided with another vehicle on the A1 between Banbridge and Dromore.

Three friends - Peter Hughes (19) from Dromintee, Conall Havern (20) from Newry and Gavin Sloan (20) from Attical - were killed on the dual carriageway between Dromore and Banbridge.

In 2014, two nuns - Sister Marie Duddy and Sister Frances Forde - were killed in a collision involving an unmarked police vehicle. They had been travelling to Dromantine College Retreat outside Newry.

Police last night said officers from the Collision Investigation Unit were investigating and appealed for any witnesses or anyone with dash-cam footage which could assist them with their enquiries to contact them.

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