heartbreaking | 

Pensioner among three dead following St Stephen’s day horror crash in Co Tyrone

Community ‘devastated’ by tragic accident near Cookstown

Stock Image: Police at the scene of an accident (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph).© Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

Brett CampbellBelfast Telegraph

A pensioner is among three adults killed in a two-vehicle horror crash in Co Tyrone.

The woman, aged in her 80s, was driving one of the vehicles involved in the collision which happened shortly before 3.30pm on the Dungannon Road in Cookstown on Monday.

The male driver of the other vehicle, who was in his 20s, also died.

The third victim – a woman aged in her 50s – was a passenger in one of the vehicles.

Another female in her 20s and four children were also injured in the collision and are being treated in hospital.

PSNI Chief Superintendent Gerard Pollock said an investigation is being led by specialist investigators from the Collision Investigation Unit.

"I am appealing to anyone who was in the area at the time who may have witnessed the collision or who has dash-cam footage or any other information to contact police on 101 quoting reference number 957 of 26/12/22,” he added.

First Minister designate Michelle O’Neill has offered her “heartfelt sympathies” to the families of all those killed and injured.

It’s understood two of the deceased adults were travelling in a people carrier along with four children and the third was in the second vehicle.

The Northern Ireland Ambulance Service deployed two rapid response teams and a number of emergency crews after receiving a 999 call at 3.29pm.

It confirmed the Air Ambulance was also dispatched to the scene.

“Following assessment and initial treatment at the scene, four patients were taken to Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children and another patient was taken by ambulance to RVH,” a spokesperson said.

“A woman was also taken by ambulance to the Royal Victoria Hospital.

"It is understood she suffered non-life threatening injuries.”

A large section of the road between Dungannon and Cookstown has been closed and is likely to remain cordoned off for some time.

Forensic officers are at the scene trying to establish the cause of the crash.

Ms O’Neill said: “It is deeply tragic news to learn that three adults have been killed and a woman and four children injured as a result of this terrible road traffic collision in Co Tyrone.

“I offer my heartfelt sympathies to the families of those tragically killed and every best wish to those injured for a full and speedy recovery.”

SDLP MLA Patsy McGlone has expressed shock following the incident.

“The community is devastated this evening following news of a fatal collision on the Dungannon Road,” he said.

"This is the worst possible news any family could receive but particularly at this time of year.

“My thoughts and prayers are with all those affected at this incredibly difficult time.”

Sinn Fein MLA Linda Dillon also extended condolences to all those grieving.

“There is shock and sadness in the community to learn that three people have died and a number of others were injured in a road incident between Cookstown and Dungannon today,” she said.

“My immediate thoughts are with the families and friends of everyone killed and injured in this tragic incident.”

UUP leader Doug Beattie described the incident as “heartbreaking news the day after Christmas”.

“I just can’t imagine the horror those who survived have endured and the scene faced by the emergency services,” he tweeted.

“Life is so precious and so fragile.

“My thoughts and prayers are with all those affected.”

Meanwhile the M1 remains closed in both directions between junction 15 at Dungannon and junction 14 at Tamnamore following a separate crash on Monday.

There are no further details at present.

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