Northern Ireland

Community 'stunned' as 18-year-old man killed in Co Down crash

Cathal McCrory (18) died in a crash in the Katesbridge area of Co Down in the early hours of Saturday. Picture: PSNI
Cathal McCrory (18) died in a crash in the Katesbridge area of Co Down in the early hours of Saturday. Picture: PSNI Cathal McCrory (18) died in a crash in the Katesbridge area of Co Down in the early hours of Saturday. Picture: PSNI

THE death of an 18-year-old man in a crash in Co Down has left a community "stunned" in the wake of the tragedy.

Cathal McCrory, from Dromore, died following a single-vehicle crash in the Circular Road area of Katesbridge shortly after 12.30am on Saturday.

He was a front-seat passenger in the car, a grey Volkswagen Golf, and was pronounced dead at the scene upon the arrival of emergency services.

Police said the driver of the car and another passenger were taken to hospital for treatment to their injuries, which were not believed to be serious, before they were later discharged.

The road was closed for a period on Saturday as an investigation got underway.

A PSNI spokesperson said: “We are appealing for information and witnesses. We would particularly ask anyone who was travelling in the area between 12.00am and 12.30am to review any dash-cam footage they may have captured and make contact with us by calling 101. The reference number to quote is 34 of 18/11/23.”

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The tragedy takes the number of people killed on the north's roads so far this year to 58.

Mr McCrory was a past pupil of St Patrick's College, Banbridge, which opened on Sunday for former students to gather and pay respects.

A spokesperson said in a statement that the school community was "devastated to learn of the death of highly regarded past pupil, Cathal McCrory".

They added: "Our thoughts and prayers are with the entire McCrory family at this difficult time. May the lovely Cathal Rest In Peace."

Mr McCrory had previously attended St Colman's Primary School in Dromore, and a spokesperson described him as the "beloved son of our esteemed colleague, Pauline".

"On behalf of our whole school community I want to extend our sympathies to Pauline and Peter and to Cathal’s siblings, Niamh, Ronan and Declan and to the extended McCrory family," they added.

"We keep all of them in our thoughts and prayers at this most difficult time. May his beautiful soul rest in peace."

Lagan Valley Alliance MLA Sorcha Eastwood said in a Facebook post on Saturday: "Absolutely devastating news coming out of Dromore today - thoughts and prayers are with the entire McCrory family circle as they come to terms with the death of their cherished son, Cathal.

"Thinking of his mum and dad, Peter and Pauline, Cathal's brothers and sister and partner Skye, God bless them all. Wrapping them all in prayers and support, as I know the entire community will be."

Meanwhile, South Down Sinn Féin MLA Chris Hazzard said: “This has stunned the entire community, which faces difficult days ahead.

“I hope that friends of Cathal who were injured in the road accident will make a full recovery."

He added: “I also wish to pay tribute to the emergency services for all their efforts at the scene and know that the local community will rally round all the families affected by this tragedy."

Meanwhile, a man remains in a critical condition in hospital following a one-vehicle crash in the Antrim area in the early hours of Sunday.

A grey Seat Leon collided with a wall close to the junction of the Parkhall Road and Steeple Road shortly before 1.40am.

A PSNI spokesperson said on Sunday: "Officers attended, along with other emergency services colleagues, and two men were taken to hospital. One of the men remains in a critical condition at this time.

"Our enquiries are ongoing as we establish the circumstances surrounding this collision and I would appeal to anyone who was in the area at the time, or who may have dashcam, CCTV or other video footage to contact police on 101, quoting reference 148 of 19/11/23."