‘A bright light has gone out’: victim’s family

September 7, 2015

The young woman who tragically died in a fatal car crash at Creggan, near Crossmaglen, on Sunday has been named locally as 24-year-old Danica Nugent from Keady.

The single vehicle collision occurred shortly before 3.30am at Creggan Bridge.

The deceased was a passenger in a silver VW Jetta being driven by her boyfriend, Sean Hughes from Crossmaglen and it’s believed the couple were returning from a night out in Newry.

Police say Mr Hughes was detained following the accident and questioned on a number of motoring offences, before being released several hours later.

The main Newry Road at Creggan remained closed to traffic until late Sunday afternoon as an investigation of the scene took place.

Just recently graduated from Queen’s University, Belfast, Ms Nugent was well known in the Crossmaglen area through her long-term relationship with Mr Hughes, whose family has a close association with Crossmaglen Rangers GFC.  Indeed the Hughes family has suffered tragedy in the past when elder brother James was shot dead in Dundalk in 2011, just months after his mother, Joan, died suddenly.  The man accused of his murder later took his own life after admitting his guilt.

There have been a number of serious accidents at Creggan Bridge in the past and this latest fatality will once again raise safety concerns regarding this stretch of the main Newry to Crossmaglen route.

A police investigation of the accident is ongoing and they have appealed to anyone who may have witnessed the collision, or who has information that may help their enquiry, to contact them in Newry or the Collision Investigation Unit on the non-emergency number 101.

Local politicians expressed their shock at the tragedy and offered sympathy to the bereaved.

Sinn Fein MLA Cathal Boylan, who is Danica Nugent’s uncle, said the family were devastated.

“Everybody is in absolute shock that Danica is gone,” he said.

“She was such a bright, popular, loving girl. Everyone who met her loved her.

“She had just graduated from university and was about to start a Masters. She had the whole world at her feet. We can’t believe she’s been taken away so early.

“Her friends and family are absolutely devastated. A bright light in all our lives has gone out.”

Sinn Fein councillor Terry Hearty said thoughts and prayers are with the family.

“It’s heartbreaking to once again have south Armagh awakening to the news of another death on our roads, especially so soon after the area was rocked by tragedy with the loss of three young lives from across the district.  In this case a bright young woman’s life has been cut tragically short. I cannot imagine the pain her family are going through,” he said.

“I would plead with everyone getting behind the wheel of a car, especially our young people, to take extra care on our roads. The risks are simply not worth it,” the councillor added.

SDLP Slieve Gullion councillor Geraldine Donnelly expressed her sympathy and said “This tragic accident and subsequent loss of life is particularly moving considering the girl involved was in her early twenties. “My sincerest condolences go out to her family at this time of tremendous grief and pain.  “Her boyfriend, was with her at the time of the accident, and  my thoughts go out to him and his family too.

“This is further illustration, although not needed, that the B30 road is dangerous and needs attention from road service. The SDLP has been lobbying for many years to make this point and we have seen little progress so far.

“The B30 needs to be prioritised as a road that requires attention in order to avoid situations like that which occurred last night”.