Men killed in weekend crash in Cookstown

The mangled wreckage at the scene of the fatal accident on the Old Coagh Road, Cookstown.
The mangled wreckage at the scene of the fatal accident on the Old Coagh Road, Cookstown.

A community in Co Tyrone has been left shocked at the loss of two young men in a weekend road collision.

The pair who died as a result of the one-vehicle crash have been named as 23-year-old Grant Archer and Robert Wilkinson who was 28.

The accident happened on the Old Coagh Road, Cookstown in the early hours of Sunday morning.

A PSNI spokesman said Mr Archer came from Newmills and Mr Wilkinson from Cookstown.

Ulster Unionist councillor for the area Trevor Wilson attended the scene yesterday morning. He said local residents told him the accident happened around 4am.

“This is terribly sad news for any family on a Mothering Sunday, he said.

“And it is dreadful news for the people of the Cookstown area to wake up to,” Councillor Wilson added.

The car the two men were travelling in crashed through two gardens before coming to rest on its side.

DUP MLA Ian McCrea has expressed his sympathy to the families saying he was “deeply shocked and saddened” at the news. “I want to assure the families of both young men that they are in my thoughts and prayers as well as those from within their local communities.

“It is important that anyone with any information on how this accident happened should contact the police as soon as possible,” Mr McCrea added.

Police have appealed for anyone who witnessed the accident to contact Cookstown police on the new non-emergency number 101.

Ulster Unionist MLA for Mid Ulster Sandra Overend has also offered her sympathy to the family and friends of the victims.

“My thoughts and prayers are with the families and friends of the two young men,” she said.

“The news of such a fatal accident is heartbreaking, especially on this Mothering Sunday, a time when mums and sons usually celebrate together.

“I am sure this is difficult news to bear but I know the good people of Mid Ulster will help the families through this difficult time.”

Patsy McGlone of the SDLP said he was “shocked and deeply saddened” to learn of the deaths.

“The loss of any life in these circumstances is a tragedy but the fact that these two men were so young will only deepen the hurt the community is feeling.

“I want to extend my deepest condolences to the families of the two men as they begin grieving for their loved ones.”