Family call for action ‘before someone dies’

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A Magilligan couple claim it is only a matter of time before someone is killed unless a life saving crash barrier is installed on the road next to their home.

Eithne and Dominic Ness live on the Seacoast Road, not far from Swann’s Bridge.

Councillor Gerry Mullan with home owners Eithne and Dominic Ness in their home where a car left the adjacent road and crashed into their garden this week. INLV1915-019KDR

Councillor Gerry Mullan with home owners Eithne and Dominic Ness in their home where a car left the adjacent road and crashed into their garden this week. INLV1915-019KDR

The sharp bend in the road next to their home has been the scene of dozens of accidents in recent years. In one year alone, they said there were 27 accidents with vehicles careering through their fence and landing in their garden.

It’s so bad the couple keep a continuous supply of wooden fence posts, while tasks such as mowing the lawn are done in record time. They’ve had cars, vans and motorcycles land just yards from their house, and say they simply don’t feel safe in their garden.

Two weeks ago, the couple arrived home on the Saturday to find at least 20-foot of fence had been smashed through. They say the garden looked as if a plough had been through it. Car parts were strewn around their property including a bumper, part of a registration plate, two cooling fans, a badge depicting the make of the car, part of the grill and large volumes of oil.

“Every time we go away and come back somebody has crashed, and someone is going to get really hurt,” said Dominic. “Our grandchildren were here hunting Easter eggs a few weeks ago, and our fear is they’re going to be killed.

“Even painting the fence, or cutting the grass, you’re always feared of it. We need a crash barrier, not just for our safety, but for motorists too. Nobody has been killed yet, but I say yet.”

Eithne said their grandchildren’s safety, who visit often, is a constant worry.

“I wonder if it’s going to be like the DoE advert on TV and is it going to be us,” said Eithne. “Unless we get a crash barrier lives will be lost. We need that now to prevent a fatality.”

SDLP Colr. Gerry Mullan said urgent action is called for.

“Only for the grace of God someone could have been killed here. The family take their life in their hands even just gardening, and I feel it’s unacceptable this issue has been neglected,” he said. “Something has to be done.”

TransportNI are aware of the matter and request for a crash barrier, and said the matter is under consideration.”

Police are appealing for information about the crash at the couple’s home, which occurred between 7pm on April 17 and 10am on April 18.

“The damaged car is thought to have been recovered from the garden,” said a spokesperson. “Police are keen to hear from anyone with knowledge of the incident, or of a car, possibly a Peugeot, that has frontal crash damage. Call the non-emergency number, 101.”