A relative of the 68-year-old man who was killed as he crossed a road in Rostrevor said “his wife was sitting across the road and saw it happening”.
Robert James Morris died after the collision with a bus happened on the Killowen Road at 5.45pm on Wednesday.
The father-of-eight, from the Kilkeel area, was the seventh person to die on Northern Ireland’s roads this year.
Last night, Eddie Keown, a brother-in-law of the deceased, said: “Robert James got a lift from work in Warrenpoint in a work van.
“His wife, Hilary, was across the road and he stepped out and then the bus hit him. She saw it happening. She was there.
“I don’t know how she is going to get over that. They were married for 42 years.”
Mr Keown, who has known his brother-in-law for more than 48 years, described him as “a great man and a great worker”.
“He was a farmer and he worked in Warrenpoint docks,” he added. “He never really retired. He did, I suppose, but then was back at it again. He had a good sense of humour and liked everything to be done to perfection.
“On Wednesday morning he left here at 6am for his work.
“Everyone is numb and just can’t take it in.
“He had eight children – five girls and three boys – and grandchildren. His youngest child is 16-years-old and his mother is still alive at 90 years. So there is a big family circle here.”
Former colleagues of Mr Morris at Warrenpoint docks held a minute’s silence yesterday morning.
A Translink spokesperson declined to comment on the incident but said they were helping the PSNI with their inquiries.
Earlier this week Environment Minister Mark H Durkan called an urgent meeting to discuss the death toll.
SDLP MLA for South Down, Seán Rogers, who knew Mr Morris, said he was “absolutely devastated” to learn of the death of his “long-time neighbour”.
“I know the family very well and my heart goes out to them at this terribly sad time,” he said.
“It is devastating news, a real tragedy, and I want to offer my deepest sympathy to his wife and family.
“This is a tragedy for the bus driver as well, and for those who witnessed this tragic incident.
“He was a quiet hard-working family man. The community in Kilkeel is stunned and our thoughts and prayers are with the family and hopefully that will help them to get through these difficult days.”
Police have appealed to anyone who witnessed the incident or anyone who was travelling on the Killowen Road around the time of the incident to contact the Collision Investigation Unit at Steeple or Ardmore Police Station on 0845 600 8000.
Mr Morris’ funeral will be held tomorrow in Mourne Presbyterian in Kilkeel.