Families mourning loss of crash victims

Families across Northern Ireland are mourning the loss of loved ones following a spate of fatal road traffic collisions.

Wednesday, 11th July 2018, 8:18 am
Updated Tuesday, 17th July 2018, 6:45 pm
Philip Capper pictured playing the bass drum for Battlehill Pipe Band in August last year. Pic: John Kelly

Mourners will gather in Co Down today for the funeral of 29-year-old Philip Capper, who was killed in a tragic accident in Drumbo on Friday night, while the funeral of 27-year-old firefighter Gary Hamilton, who died in a motorcycle crash on Sunday, is due to take place in Armagh tomorrow.

Funeral details for 70-year-old Co Tyrone man Alan Neill, who was killed in a crash in Scotland on Saturday, are expected to be finalised today.

Meanwhile, a motorcyclist aged in his 40s who died following a collision with a tractor on Riverside Road in Bushmills on Monday night has not yet been named by police.

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Police officers investigating the circumstances of the crash have appealed for witnesses to come forward.

Mr Capper, from Gregorlough Road near Dromore, was a passenger in a tractor that crashed on the Back Road in Drumbo on Friday night.

The popular bandsman was described by friends as “an absolute gentleman” and “a much-loved character”.

The driver of the vehicle, a 22-year-old man, was arrested on suspicion of careless driving causing death and later released pending further inquiries.

Mr Capper’s funeral will take place in Banbridge Baptist Church today at 2pm.

He will be laid to rest in Kernan Cemetery, Portadown.

Mr Hamilton, from Armagh, died on Sunday morning when his Yamaha motorcycle crashed off the Castlewellan Road, Banbridge at around 10am.

Police are still investigating the circumstances of the crash and have appealed for witnesses to contact them.

The young firefighter was described by Chief Fire & Rescue Officer, Gary Thompson, as a “dedicated and popular” colleague.

Requiem mass will take place in St Patrick’s Cathedral, Armagh tomorrow at 10am, with burial afterwords in St Columcille’s Cemetery, Knockaconey.

Mr Neill, from Stewartstown, was killed in a three-vehicle crash on the A75 near Creetown in Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland.

A well-known gundog breeder, handler and trainer, he was driving a Ford Ranger pick-up towing a trailer with 12 dogs inside when the crash happened at around 2.45am.

A family notice described Mr Neill as a “beloved husband, much-loved father and a devoted grandad”.

In all, 25 people have been killed on roads across Northern Ireland to date this year, and police yesterday called for the public to keep road safety at the forefront of their minds.