Man dies after lorry collision

Editorial image.
Editorial image.

Police are appealing for witnesses after an 86-year-old Dromara man was killed following an accident in Ballynahinch on Thursday morning.

The elderly male pedestrian was struck by a lorry shortly before 11am at Windmill Street. He was named locally as Pat Braniff.

Police said that a male driver was arrested on suspicion of a number of motoring offences and later released on bail pending further enquiries.

Inspector Kieran Quinn, said they are appealing for anyone who was on Windmill Street and who witnessed the collision to contact them or the Collision Investigation Unit on the non-emergency number 101.

The accident has been the third similar incident in the town in recent months.

Six months ago, an elderly woman was knocked down by a lorry and killed at virtually at the same spot where Mr Braniff was killed.

Prior to that a man in his 60’s lost a leg after being struck down in Windmill Street.

A proposed £50 m stretch of single carriageway - which the Department for Regional Development said would improve safety and traffic conditions in Ballynahinch town centre - went out to consultation this year.

South Down MP Margaret Ritchie expressed her deep sadness after learning of the man’s death.

The SDLP representative said: “I want to express my deepest condolences to the family of the man tragically killed after being struck by a lorry in Ballynahinch this morning.

“This will be a very difficult time for his close friends and family, I have no doubt the community will rally around them. I would appeal to anyone who was in the area to contact the PSNI as soon as possible.”

Although this is the third death on Northern Ireland roads this month, the number of fatalities have fallen this summer in comparison with those of summer 2014. July 2014 saw eight deaths while this number decreased in July 2015 to three. August 2014 recorded nine deaths while August 2015 has recorded three.