Newspaper for Crossmaglen, South Armagh, Newry and Down.

Tributes paid to former Newry man killed in Warrenpoint accident

Tributes have been paid to a former Newry man who was killed in a tragic accident while out walking his dog in Warrenpoint last Wednesday morning.

Sixty-six year old Keith McWilliams was walking along the Rostrevor Road close to a bend along the coastal route connecting Warrenpoint and Rostrevor when the freak accident, involving a lorry loaded with logs, occurred.

Mr McWilliams – who was originally from Newry but had moved to the seaside town with his wife Ellen around 30 years ago – was described as “well-known and popular.” His death caused widespread shock throughout the district and it is understood many of the firefighters who attended the scene of the accident knew the victim personally.

SDLP MLA Sinéad Bradley said locals were stunned that a life had been taken “in such a sudden and dramatic way.”

“Amidst the pleasant surroundings on a beautiful sunny day none of us anticipate circumstances unfolding in a way that would result in the tragic loss of life. I extend my heartfelt sympathies to the family and loved ones of the deceased, ” she said.

Independent councillor Henry Reilly said Mr McWilliams was very well known in the local area and described his death as “an absolute shock.”

“I send my sincere condolences to the family of this gentleman at this difficult time,” he added.

SDLP Councillor Declan McAteer said he understood the trailer that was carrying bags of logs became loose, ploughing into Mr McWilliams as he was out for a walk.

“It just seems to be a very unfortunate tragedy and will come as a terrible shock to the family.

“Most people in Warrenpoint walk that road every day and I believe he walked it regularly,” said Mr McAteer.

Mr McWilliams is survived by his wife Ellen, brother Nigel, sister Denise and the family circle.

His funeral arrangements have yet to be confirmed.

Anyone who was travelling on the Rostrevor Road between 10.15am and 10.30am on Wednesday 3rd May when the accident happened – or who saw a lorry towing a trailer – has been asked to contact detectives.