The man killed when his rally car plunged into water was named as Ryan Bradley today.
The Co Derry man was taking part in the Down rally outside Castlewellan, Co Down when his Mk 2 Escort crashed into a wall leaving the Lackan Road and dived into Lough Island Reavy reservoir.
His co-driver, named locally as Gerard Mullan, managed a miraculous escape from the car and he was rushed to Newry’s Daisy Hill hospital.
His condition wasn’t thought to be life threatening tonight.
The fire brigade launched a boat and police divers went to the rescue but nothing could be done to save the Kilrea man who remained trapped in the crashed car for a number of hours before rescue workers were finally able to free him.
The tragic man’s heartbroken parents Sharon and Joe and three siblings were said to be left devastated by the sudden loss of their youngest.
The Bradley family are well known in the area as they run an engineering and quarry firm Patrick Bradley Limited where rally fan Ryan is understood to have worked.
Family friend and neighbour John Dallat paid tribute to his former pupil today. “Ryan was an extremely modest, quiet chap with a rural background and a keen interest in rallying and mechanical things,” he said.
The SDLP councillor added: “I’ve known the family all my life and can’t begin to imagine in terms of tragedy what they are going through.
“They’ll need all the support of the wider community. Obviously there’s a real sense of disbelief and people hoping it’s wasn’t true.”
The event was scrapped after the horrific accident.
Read the full story via Down Rally: Driver dies after car plunges into water – Irish Mirror Online.