Girl, 16, dies as lorry crashes into schoolbus

A SCHOOLGIRL died and her cousin was critically injured when a lorry crashed into their schoolbus on a notoriously dangerous Northern Ireland road yesterday.

Five other children and the bus driver were hurt when the articulated lorry ploughed into the back of the bus as it turned into school gates.

The 44-year-old lorry driver was arrested at the scene on suspicion of dangerous driving and later released pending further police investigation.

Nicola Murray, who had just turned 16, died following the crash on the Ballygawley Road at Cabragh, Co Tyrone, and her nine-year-old cousin was critically injured.

The little girl was brought to Belfast’s Royal Victoria Hospital after being transferred there for specialist care.

The crash sent shockwaves through the tight-knit local community and led to calls for action to improve safety on a stretch of road which has claimed numerous lives in recent years — including Irish Rugby legend Mick Doyle, who died in 2004 at the same spot as Nicola.

The bus, carrying 15 pupils, was turning into the gates of St Mary’s Primary School, where it was dropping off seven children, when the lorry slammed into its rear, sending it crashing into a garden. Nicola and seven other pupils were on their way to St Ciaran’s High School a few miles away in Ballygawley.

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