Teenagers who died in Co Armagh road crash named

The scene of Thursday morning's one-vehicle car crash in Co Armagh where two teenage students died. Photo: Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press Intl
The scene of Thursday morning's one-vehicle car crash in Co Armagh where two teenage students died. Photo: Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press Intl

The two young men killed when their car left the road in Co Armagh on Thursday morning have been named locally as Andrew Gass and Mark Hutcheson from the Markethill area.

One other passenger in the car survived the one-vehicle collision on the Cladymilltown Road between Markethill and Newtownhamilton. He is reported to be in a stable condition in hospital.

The two dead teenagers - who were both 17-years-old and and engineering students at the Southern Regional College (SRC) in Portadown - were on their way to a skills competition at the college around 8.30am when the accident happened.

In a statement, the college said its governing body and staff are “deeply saddened” at news of the tragedy.

SRC chief executive Brian Doran, said he wished to convey his “deepest sympathies and condolences” to the families, and said his thoughts were with the third student who survived.

“Staff and students were deeply shocked and saddened at the tragic death of two young students who were great characters and shared a close bond throughout school and more recently at the Southern Regional College,” he added.

Ulster Unionist MLA Danny Kennedy said: “This is a terrible tragedy and I offer my sincere sympathy to the families and friends of those involved. I have no doubt that the local community will support the families in every way, and they will be in the thoughts and prayers of everyone at this sad and very difficult time.”

Employment and Learning Minister Dr Stephen Farry said: “I was very saddened to learn of the death of these young men and of a third being injured. My thoughts are with all their families and friends at what must be a difficult time for them.”

DUP MLA William Irwin spoke to the News Letter from the scene.

He said: “This is such a tragedy with the lives of two young local lads lost in an instant, it really is such a horrific loss for the families of both young men.

“Having lost a child of my own in a swimming accident some years back, I know just how painful and totally devastating this will be for the families involved and words really cannot describe the anguish this awful ordeal brings.”