Tributes have been paid to County Derry man, Ryan McCaul, from Drum, who died this morning (Monday) following a road crash just two miles from his home.
The mechanical engineer, who was aged in his early thirties, was on his way to work when the collision occurred at 6.30am with a van on the main road between Dungiven and Foreglen.
Sinn Fein councillor, Tony McCaul, a relation of Ryan, said the local community was in “complete shock”.
“Ryan was a great fella,” he said. “He was well liked and well known. He’d come through a lot in his short life, but he was very easy going, very relaxed and, no matter what challenges he faced, he always had a smile on his face.
“Ryan loved the craic and the banter and he’d come to the clubhouse at Foreglen for the different activities. He loved a game of pool and just loved life, he really did. He did a lot of fundraising and had run marathons, including the New York marathon, to raise money for charity. It’s hard to believe he is gone; a young life to be taken like that is just devastating.”
Colr. McCaul said Ryan’s family was devastated.
“Their hearts are breaking and their loss is beyond words,” he said. “It’s absolutely tragic.
“I’ve no doubt the local communities of Drum and Gortnaghey will rally around and give the family whatever help they need at this awful time.”
Tributes have been paid to Ryan on Facebook.
One person wrote: “Literally heartbreaking what you can wake up to - Ryan McCaul never failed to put a smile on anyone’s face at University. Rest easy mate.”
The Foreglen Road remains closed this morning in both directions between Claudy and Dungiven.
Diversions are in place and delays are expected in the area.
Police are appealing for anyone who witnessed the collision to contact officers at the Collision Investigation Unit on 101.