- By Jessica Lawrence
- BBC IS News
Those killed in a crash near Aughnacloy, County Tyrone, have been named by locals as Dan McKane, their sister Christine McKane and their aunt Julia McSorley.
They were killed when their minibus collided with a lorry on the A5 Tullyvar Road.
A parish priest said the family was returning from their aunt’s funeral in England when the crash happened.
Four other people in the minibus were seriously injured.
Father Declan Boland, from Strabane, County Tyrone, said the family and local community were completely disbelieving in the tragedy.
“The community is struggling to understand what’s going on. We’re faced with horror as the bodies are brought home and then the funerals,” he told The North West Today’s show. BBC.
Father Boland visited Miss Duffy’s home on Thursday, where everyone had come together to pay their respects.
“People just gathered in groups, didn’t talk much but just stood there in silent solidarity, hugging each other,” he said.
“It’s really a silent witness that words really aren’t enough.”
Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue (NIFRS) said the severe collision required the use of a breaker to rescue the casualties.
Father Boland added that two people receiving post-operative care at Belfast’s Royal Victoria Hospital were seriously injured but will survive.
A Rosary for those affected by the crash will take place at the Holy Grotto in Strabane at 19:00 BST on Friday.
Father Boland said: “The last time we met there was the Creeslough tragedy, and now we have our own tragedy.
A special Mass will also be held in Aughnacloy on Friday evening.
‘What a terrible tragedy’
Keiron Tourish, BBC News NI North West correspondent, in Strabane
A sense of shock and disbelief could be felt in Strabane this morning after this tragedy.
Those who attended morning Mass at the Church of the Immaculate Conception on Barrack Street said they were heartbroken by the deaths.
“I couldn’t believe they were in the UK for a funeral and came back home when this happened. It was terrible, it was terrible,” one woman said.
Another woman said she would go to Mass to pray for her family and light candles for them: “What a terrible tragedy.”
Friends of the McKane family say they are lovely people and are completely traumatized by what happened.
A special vigil will be held at the Grotto in Townsend Street at 19:00 tonight.
A5 conditions ‘terrible’
Thursday’s fatal crash was the latest to happen on the A5 road, which connects Dublin in the Republic of Ireland and the northwest.
Plans to upgrade the road between Aughnacloy and New Buildings in County Londonderry were announced in 2007.
But they have been delayed amid financial problems and legal challenges.
The Department for Infrastructure said the estimated cost of the project was £1.6 billion – an increase of £400 million from the final estimate.
Alan Kilpatrick, who lives on the road where the crash happened, said it was very dangerous.
He was one of the first to arrive at the crash scene on Thursday morning.
“I don’t want to see what I’ve seen, I don’t want to see it again. I certainly don’t want to see it because this could have been avoided with a better path,” he told the show. BBC’s Good Morning Ulster.
He added that there is a large amount of traffic on the road, including commercial vehicles trying to navigate the small roads.
“This is a main street in the middle of the largest city on the island, the entire northwest of the island, and it’s absolutely horrible.”