Following last week’s tragic accident just outside Newbuildings, Foyle MLA Gary Middleton, has called for a high-powered meeting to discuss improving road safety.
Speaking at the NI Assembly Environment Committee on Thursday morning, Mr Middleton proposed that officials from the Department of the Environment attend the committee and give a briefing on what steps were being taken on road safety issues.
“Along with many others throughout Northern Ireland, I have been deeply shocked and saddened by the deaths of the two young men in Londonderry. I will continue to keep their family and friends in my thoughts and prayers at this very sad time,” he said.
He said he wanted to know what action was being taken to improve safety and what more needed to be done to raise awareness.
“The two recent deaths on the Victoria Road have brought the total of deaths on our roads this year to 28. Each life lost is a family devastated. One death is one too many.
“This is another tragic example of two young men losing their lives on our roads. Living in Newbuildings I know this road very well and I would hope that information can be gathered to establish exactly what happened.
“I know one of the other passengers who was travelling in the car and I will be visiting some of the families as soon as possible. I want to pass on my sympathies to those families who have suffered such a terrible loss today and hope that those who are in hospital might make a speedy recovery.”
Offering his sympathy to the families, Alderman Maurice Devenney, noted that there had been a number of accidents on the stretch of road between Newbuildings and Magheramason.
“It is a tragedy that we have two young men, in prime of their lives, liked by so many in their community, taken so soon,” he said.
“My sympathy goes out to their extended families and also to the driver and the teenage girl who were also injured. I hope they make a full recovery.
“I would appeal to all drivers to take care and slow down because you never know what is around the next corner.”
Meanwhile, West Tyrone MLA Joe Byrne said the tragedy demonstrated the need for urgent intervention by government to address safety concerns.
Calling for an urgent upgrade of the A5 to avert future tragedies of this kind, he said: “This tragedy emphasises the need for significant changes to the roads infrastructure in this area. It is imperative now that we see urgent intervention from government to address the concerns about the roads network in the west. Nothing else will do.”
Chief Inspector Alan Hutton has asked that anyone who saw the car between 3am and 3.30am to contact the police.