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Tributes paid to Co Down road crash victim Christopher Hillis

Christopher Hillis died at the scene of the one-vehicle collision on the Banbridge Road, between Killallen and Dromara, in the early hours of Saturday morning
Andrew Madden

AN 18-year-old Co Down farmer who died in a road crash has been described as a "popular and hard-working young man".

Christopher Hillis, who was from Rathfriland, died at the scene of the one-vehicle collision on the Banbridge Road, between Killallen and Dromara, in the early hours of Saturday morning.

He was a back seat passenger in the car. The driver of the vehicle and three other passengers, one of whom sustained serious injuries, were taken to hospital for treatment.

The seriously injured passenger is now in a stable condition in hospital.

Friends of Mr Hillis, a former Rathfriland High School pupil, took to social media to express their shock and condolences at his death.

"Reading all the lovely things people had to say about Christopher Hillis, it really does show how much of a lovely person he was, he always took the time to speak to everyone and would have done anything to help someone out," one wrote.

"A popular, hard working young man. So sad, my thoughts and prayers with his family. RIP Christopher, you will never be forgotten," said another.

Ulster Unionist councillor for the area Glenn Barr said Mr Hillis' family is well known in the town.

"My thoughts and prayers are with the family at this awful time," he said.

"I knew the family and it's just such a tragedy. To lose someone at such a young age is just unimaginable."

Police are appealing for anyone who was travelling on the Banbridge Road between midnight and 12.30am on Saturday morning and may have witnessed the collision to contact officers in Lurgan on 101.

Mr Hillis is survived by his parents, Andrew and Judith, sisters Aimee and Alyx, and grandparents Eric and Lottie Harbinson

Meanwhile, the funeral has been held for a 29-year-old Fermanagh woman who died in a two-vehicle crash last week in Brookeborough.

Kiara McCoy, who was from Lisnaskea, died in the crash on the A4 Belfast Road at Brookeborough shortly before 8pm on Tuesday.

The A4, which was closed in both directions following the crash, has been the scene of eight fatalities between Fivemiletown and Enniskillen in the last six years.

Ulster Unionist councillor Victor Warrington said: "It is fair to say that the A4 has been a bad area for accidents. There have been numerous accidents over the years resulting in fatalities."

So far this year, 51 people have lost their lives on the roads in the north.

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