Tributes have poured in for the vintage tractor enthusiast who lost his life in a road accident near Cookstown this morning [Friday, July 17].
Victor Wylie, who was in his 60s, had been driving his tractor along the Cookstown to Moneymore dual carriage way when he was killed in a collision with a blue 4x4 at around 9.30am.
Police, ambulance and fire crews were called to the scene, and the Moneymore-bound road closed to traffic.
The Cookstown man was on his way to the start of Mid Ulster Vintage Vehicle Club’s annual charity tractor rally from Moneymore to Ballyclare and back.
The 100-mile drive was to take place over two days, finishing on Saturday, July 18, but was cancelled after news of Victor’s death.
A spokesperson for the vintage club said: “The Officers, Members and friends of the Mid-Ulster Vintage Vehicles Club Ltd were shocked and saddened to hear of the tragic death of our long time member and friend, Victor Wylie, following an accident earlier today.
“Victor had been a very popular and well-liked member who was a regular attendee at committee meetings, attended many of our tractor runs and provided much help in organising our annual vintage rally at Springhill. He always had a smile and a quick wit.
“His involvement with the club stretches back over 30 years and he will be sadly missed.
“Our thoughts, prayers and sympathies are with the Wylie family at this stage and most especially his brothers Elwin, Edwin and David, all of whom are also active Club members.”
Over the years the organisation has raised almost £500k for charity, with this year’s proceeds due to go to Northern Ireland Children’s Hospice.
A spokesperson for the charity said: “Northern Ireland Hospice wishes to convey deepest sympathy to the family and friends of a gentleman who was offering up his time and goodwill to raise funds for Northern Ireland Children’s Hospice, as a member of the Mid-Ulster Vintage Vehicle Club.
“The Vintage Tractor and Car Trek event was cancelled as a result of the tragic accident and in respect of the gentleman and his family.”
Mid Ulster councillor, Trevor Wilson has also extended his sympathies to the Wylie family.
“This is absolutely devastating news this morning,” he said.
“I know the family of this man, and my thoughts and prayers are with them at this terrible time.”