Youth arrested after crashing into Magherafelt church wall

Damage caused to the wall at an entrance to First Magherafelt Presbyterian Church.

Damage caused to the wall at an entrance to First Magherafelt Presbyterian Church.

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CONSIDERABLE damage was caused to a wall at an entrance to First Magherafelt Presbysterian Church at the weekend when a van lost control and crashed during a police chase.

Police say an 18-year-old youth was arrested in relation to the incident in the early hours of Sunday morning.

A police spokesperson said: “Shortly before 2:30am, it was reported that a male driver in a blue van failed to stop by police and sped up towards the Queen Street area.

“As the vehicle moved along the Kirk Avenue area, it is believed to have lost control and collided with a wall at the Meeting Street area.

“The vehicle then tried to leave the area heading towards King Street, but was stopped by police. The male was arrested at the scene on suspicion of dangerous driving, criminal damage, assault on police, suspicion of driving whilst unfit and failing to stop. The male has been released on police bail pending further enquiries.”

Police would ask anyone who witnessed this incident or who has any information to contact police at Magherafelt Police Station on 0845 600 8000.

The 275-year-old church is currently undergoing a major upgrade costing in the region of £1.5 million.

DUP Councillor Anne Forde congratulated police on their viligance and expressed relief noone had been hurt in the crash.