'He was the life and soul of our family' – heartbroken sister of man who died in road tragedy

The sister of a man who died in a motorway accident last weekend has paid tribute to her “much-loved brother and best friend”.

Darryl Thompson (22), from Kilcam Road in Beragh, Co Tyrone, was killed after being hit by a car on a section of the M1 between junctions 14 and 15 near Dungannon at around 10.20pm on Saturday.

He had been returning home from a car event in Tamnamore and died at the scene.

A past pupil of St Conor’s Primary School and Sacred Heart College in Omagh, he worked as a digger driver with construction company Mills Contracts Ltd, which is also based in the town.

Mr Thompson is survived by his mother Edwina, sister Katie (21), brother Jack (5), stepfather Keith Clarke and wider family circle.

The small village of Beragh, around eight miles from Omagh, has been shaken by the news of another young life lost.

His death is the third road tragedy to hit his family.

His father Tony Thompson (38) died when his motorbike collided with a lorry on the Mulvin Road outside Newtownstewart in July 2006.

Fellow biker Colin Thornton (43) was also killed in the collision.

His uncle Dermot Loughran (36) from Carrickmore died in similar circumstances when his motorbike collided with a car near Dromore in September 2009.

Speaking to the Belfast Telegraph ahead of Mr Thompson’s funeral tomorrow, his sister Katie said: “Darryl was beautiful with a beautiful soul.

“He was the life and soul of our entire family and home.

“He had the most contagious laugh and was always happy.

“He lived life to the full and nothing was ever a problem to him.

“He loved cars and country music.

“He was always out in the garage fixing cars and was big into all sorts of machinery, along with farming.

“He was always keeping himself busy and was never idle.

“Darryl was loved by so many people.

“He was very close to our wee brother Jack.

“He idolised Darryl and you would very rarely have seen one without the other.

“We are all heartbroken and will miss Darryl so much, but heaven is so very lucky to have him now.”

Mr Thompson’s funeral will leave from his late residence at 10.15am for 11am Requiem Mass in the Church of the Immaculate Conception in Beragh.

This will be followed by interment at the adjoining graveyard.

The family has requested that donations be made to the Northern Ireland Air Ambulance following the tragic death of another young friend from Omagh recently.

Kyra McKinley (21) died following a two-vehicle collision on Deverney Road in the town on August 18.

Her family have since been fundraising for the Air Ambulance as a thank-you for attending the crash scene and prolonging her life so that her organs could be donated.

Katie added: “A great friend of ours is Kyra’s boyfriend, Matthew Allen.

“The charity really helped her family so it’s close to all of our hearts and a good cause for people to donate to.”

Police are appealing to anyone who was on the M1 on Saturday at approximately 10.20pm and witnessed the incident to contact the collision investigation unit on 101, quoting reference number 1477 November 10.

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