Crash victim a ‘true gentleman’

The black Vauxhall Astra involved in a fatal collision at Burntollett Bridge late on Wednesday night. 1804JM32
The black Vauxhall Astra involved in a fatal collision at Burntollett Bridge late on Wednesday night. 1804JM32

A 69 year-old Waterside man who died following a car crash on Wednesday evening has been described as “a good friend and true gentleman” by local UUP Alderman Mary Hamilton.

The deceased was named yesterday as David Ritchie from Tullyally.

He died following the tragic accident near Burntollet Bridge which took place around 8.45pm on Wednesday.

Speaking to the ‘Journal’ yesterday, Ald. Hamilton said she was “deeply saddened” to hear of Mr Ritchie’s death. She said he was a “good man” who spent his life “trying to help others”.

“He was a good samaritan, that is the best way I could describe him. He always gave his time to other people.”

A widower, it is believed that Mr Ritchie is survived by his daughter, Karen.

Ald. Hamilton said Mr Ritchie had a great love for pipe bands and that she been looking forward to seeing him during the summer season.

“It is a terrible tragedy. I wish to extend my sincere condolences, on behalf of myself and my husband Ernie, to Mr Ritchie’s family.”

SDLP MLA Pat Ramsey also offered his condolences to the family via his Facebook page stating: “Our thoughts and prayers are with his family at this most difficult of times.”

A man and a woman remain in hospital being treated for injuries that are not thought to be life threatening.

Two men aged 22 and 26 arrested following the incident were yesterday in custody helping police with their enquiries.

At the time of going to press the Glenshane Road remained closed and police were advising motorists to avoid the area and seek an alternative route if possible.

Police are appealing for anyone who saw a black Vauxhall Astra and a silver Vauxhall Astra being driven on the Glenshane Road at the time leading up to the collision to contact the Collision Investigation Unit via Strand Road on 0845 600 8000.

Or, if someone would prefer to provide information without giving their details, they can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers and speak to them anonymously on 0800 555 111