Tributes to man killed in ‘freak’ Warrenpoint collision

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Tributes have been paid to the victim of a freak accident in Warrenpoint who was killed in a collision on the Rostrevor Road on Wednesday.

Keith McWilliams, a 66-year-old who was originally from Newry but who had been living in Warrenpoint with his family, died after being struck by a lorry and a trailer while he was out walking his dog.

The scene of the collision was strewn with the trailer’s contents, which appeared to be wooden logs wrapped in netting.

SDLP councillor Michael Carr said he knew Mr McWilliams’s wife and family and described them as very active in the local community.

Mr McWilliams was described as an avid football fan and Newry City supporter who walked the same route along the picturesque, waterfront Rostrevor Road on an almost daily basis.

Mr Carr said: “I would certainly know the family, who have been in Warrenpoint for generations.

“Keith was originally from Newry and he would have been well known in football circles. Both he and his father were great Newry City supporters and the family that he married into in Warrenpoint had played a big part in the community down through the years – in both community and sport.

“It really was tragic and that it would happen in such a way... He walked that road regularly – if not every day, then certainly most days of the week. It is the most beautiful part of the world and there would always have been people out walking along there. Keith would have been very well known to all of them.

“I have a few friends who would be out walking along there who would have always stopped and said hello to him. He always gave people the time of day and he was by all accounts a very friendly man.”

Mr Carr said the nature of the accident was particularly shocking.

“The freakishness of the whole thing makes you think,” he said. “He could have missed it either side by just a few minutes or a few metres. For someone to go out for a walk on a beautiful sunny day and for them not to come home is truly shocking.”

He added: “I would like to take the opportunity to pass on my condolences to the family. My thoughts and prayers and those of the local community are very much with the family.”

Independent councillor Henry Reilly said: “I would like to pass on my condolences to the deceased man’s family and also to the man who was driving the lorry. None of us go out thinking that something as terrible as this can happen.”