Dungiven man’s appeal after close call with head-on collision

The van landed on its side and in a field.
The van landed on its side and in a field.

A Dungiven man forced to take evasive action to avoid a head-on collision has described the terrifying moment he thought it was “all over”.

The man, who prefers not to be named, was caught up in the drama as he drove towards Limavady on Saturday, September 10, on the Ballyquin Road, at approximately 2.30pm.

“I was just driving along and there were cars on the other side of the road, driving towards Dungiven. All of a sudden there was a car coming straight at me, on the wrong side of the road,” he said.

“He just pulled out in front of me.”

To avoid a head-on collision, the man - who works as a joiner - said he had no option but to swerve, his van landing in a field, on its side.

“It happened that quick. Two seconds and I could have been killed. It could have been all over,” he said. “It was completely crazy. It was a shock. I didn’t expect that.”

The man said he, and his passenger, both badly shaken, were trapped inside the van for roughly five minutes.

The man said he was told the driver he swerved to avoid, believed to have been driving a blue Renault Megane, stopped briefly, before driving on.

He understands that two other cars stopped at the scene - a red VW Passat and a blue green/turquoise coloured Corsa - and he hopes they’ll come forward to the police to help track the driver.

As a result of the near collision, the man said his van is a write-off and thousands of pounds worth of work tools have been damaged. He said he could be facing an increase in his insurance unless the driver of the car can be tracked. Police are appealing for information about the collision.

A PSNI spokesperson said: “The incident occurred due to a vehicle, believed to be a blue Renault Megane carrying out a dangerous overtake resulting in a van ending up on its side in a field in order to avoid a head-on collision. No one was injured.”

Police urge anyone with information to call the non-emergency number 101, quoting reference 801 on 10/09/16.