THE family of a young motorcyclist killed in a road traffic collision in Tyrone at the end of May has donated more than £26,000 to Air Ambulance NI in his memory.
Willis Vogel (21), from Limavady, was on his way home from a day trip to Sligo with his friends on their motorbikes when his Kawasaki was involved in a collision with a Black BMW X5 on the Meenacloy Road, between Ederney and Castlederg, at around 11am on May 31.
Following the collision, the Air Ambulance was dispatched but Mr Vogel died at the scene.
The driver failed to stop and the vehicle was later found across the border in Donegal. A 33-year-old man was subsequently arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving and failing to stop, remain and report an accident and remains on police bail, pending further enquiries.
Mr Vogel’s friend, Alan-Lee Creswell, who was with him at the time of the collision, started a JustGiving page and, within 24 hours, it had far exceeded the £1,500 target.
The total of £26,700.28 that has been presented by the Vogel family to Air Ambulance NI is a combination of that money, as well as generous donations made to Brown’s Funeral Directors and directly to the family.
Speaking to the Tyrone Herald, Mr Vogel’s sister, Rebecca, said, “The amount we have been able to donate is overwhelming and makes us very proud to be Willis’ family, to be able to donate this amount in his memory is very special.
“It really shows how much he was loved and how well thought of he was by everyone who knew him.”
Paying a warm tribute to her late brother, Rebecca said, “Willis was a big character, he loved life and made an impact from the minute you met him. He was funny, enthusiastic and just buzzed off being with his friends and family and having good craic.
“His personality was infectious, he had a contagious laugh, great banter and a kind heart – the best combination.”
She said that her family were “heartbroken” by his death.
“We feel the loss of Willis every day, we are very fortunate to be a strong family and have great family and friends around us to support us. We live every day remembering Willis, he was the light in every room, always wearing his best accessory – his big smile,” Rebecca added.