Treacherous road blamed for tragic crash

December 4, 2012

By Christine Keighery

A fatal collision on the Old Dublin Road, which claimed the life of a Jonesborough man, has prompted renewed concerns about the neglected state of the road.

51 year old Paul Connolly died following the two vehicle road crash which occurred around 9.20am last Wednesday morning.  Mr Connolly was travelling in a Nissan Micra which was involved in a collision with a Renault Van.

The road, which is the first slip road upon leaving Newry at the Cloughoge roundabout, is frequented daily by road users accessing businesses such as Morgan Fuels and the Carrickdale Hotel.

Residents in the area have reportedly been concerned for some time about the dangers on this particular stretch of road, with Councillor Packie McDonald claiming that many feel the road has been “abandoned” by Roads Service.

Speaking shortly after the early morning accident, the Sinn Fein councillor slammed Roads Service saying:

“The exact details of the accident this morning are unclear, except for the fact that one man has lost his life. There has been a genuine fear about the state of the Old Dublin road.

“The council is aware of the history of accidents on this road and how it is untreated. I contacted Roads Service this morning as soon as news emerged that there was an accident, they again responded that it does not meet the criteria to grit the road.

Mr McDonald revealed he had travelled on the road himself on the morning of the tragic collision and found it “treacherous”, before adding that local residents have long been concerned that the road had been abandoned by the authorities.

“I have been consistently campaigning for the Old Dublin road to be gritted as there is a heavy flow of traffic travelling on this road.

“My thoughts and prayers are with the family as they try to come to terms with the terrible news of this man’s sudden death.”

A spokesperson for Roads Service told The Examiner,

“The Old Dublin Road, Newry, previously the A1, has been reclassified as the B133 since the new A1 dual carriageway opened in September 2007. This road is not gritted as it does not meet the criteria for inclusion on the salted network.

“Road Service cannot comment on the accident, which is currently subject to a PSNI investigation. Roads Service will however consider the detail of the accident report once it has been completed.”

Police have appealed to anyone who witnessed the collision to contact them at Newry on 0845 600 8000. They are especially keen to speak with the driver of a red van who is thought to have witnessed the crash and stopped to offer assistance at the scene.