Funerals for weekend road crash victims

Road accident
Road accident

The funeral of the Portadown father-of-three struck by a car on the town’s Gilford Road on Sunday morning is expected to take place on Thursday.

John Armstrong is understood to have stepped out of a taxi a short time before he was hit and fatally injured by a passing Volkswagen Passat.

Mr Armstrong, who was in his 40s and from Keelmount Grange in the Scotch Street area, had a partner, Emma, and three children, Sasha-Louise, Holly and Joel.

He was a former member of the Portadown True Blues Flute Band and the first of two weekend fatalities on Northern Ireland’s roads.

In a message posted on the band’s Facebook page, the current members said they were “deeply saddened” at the news, and added: “Rest in peace big man, our thoughts and prayers are with the kids and family circle at this time.”

Mayor of Craigavon, Mark Baxter, said people in the town were devastated by the tragedy.

“My thoughts and prayers are with them at this time,” he said.

The DUP’s Darryn Causby offered his condolences, saying Mr Armstrong was often referred to as “the gentle giant”.

He said: “I want to offer my full, heartfelt sympathy to John’s family and friends, and his fellow band members.”

SDLP MLA Dolores Kelly also expressed her sympathy to Mr Armstrong’s family.

Many people in Portadown are still coming to terms with the loss of two local anglers in a Co Westmeath boating accident last month.

David Warnock, 27, and Darryl Burke, 30, lost their lives when their boat sank in bad weather on Lough Ree. A third man, John Trimble, spent five days in hospital before returning to help search for Mr Burke, who remained missing for two weeks.

The funeral of the weekend’s second road victim will take place tomorrow at Drumgooland Presbyterian Church, between Banbridge and Castlewellan.

Jim Boyd, of Drumaghadone Road in Dromore, Co Down, died as the result of a two-vehicle crash early on Sunday evening.

The father-of-four, who worked as a cattle dealer, was killed when his Mercedes car was involved in a collision with a Vauxhall car on the Banbridge Road, Dromore, shortly before 6pm.

His family described him as the “much-loved father” of James, Laura, Julie and Mark.

The 42-year-old man driving the Vauxhall involved was not seriously injured and was arrested by police at the scene.

He was subsequently released on police bail pending further inquiries.