Northern Ireland

Natasha Carruthers: Two men released over crash murder

Natasha Carruthers Image copyright Family photo
Image caption Natasha Carruthers died following a collision last Saturday

Two men, aged 20 and 40, arrested in connection with the death of a woman killed in a County Fermanagh car crash have been released, pending further enquiries.

Natasha Carruthers, 23, died following a collision on Newbridge Road, Derrylin, last Saturday.

It was initially treated as a traffic accident, but later became a murder inquiry.

Detectives were granted an extension of 36 hours to question the men on Friday.

A detective sergeant told Dungannon Magistrates' Court that extensive enquiries were ongoing, and phased interviews had still to take place with the detained men.

Third man being sought

The detective said Serious Crime Officers took over the case on Wednesday afternoon after it was deemed a murder investigation.

She confirmed that, as well as murder, the offences being investigated are causing death and grievous bodily harm by dangerous driving.

She said there had been witness reports of "ramming".

Police believe a third man has fled to the Republic of Ireland and enquiries are ongoing into his whereabouts.

Image caption The crash happened on the Newbridge Road in Derrylin

The court heard that the driver of the car in which Ms Carruthers was travelling was very seriously ill in Belfast's Royal Victoria Hospital, and police had yet to speak with him.

A woman who was in the back seat has since been discharged from hospital and is also still to be interviewed.

10 mobile phones

The detective said a "vast area of County Fermanagh" is to be trawled for evidence including Derrylin, Newtownbutler, Enniskillen, Maguiresbridge and Lisnaskea.

Ten mobile phones have been seized for examination as police believe there was a lot of communication prior to and after the incident.

Defence solicitors for both suspects confirmed they were not objecting to the extended detention.

A judge granted the application and allowed a further 36 hours in custody.

A woman arrested for allegedly perverting the course of justice was released on Thursday night and a file was sent to the Public Prosecution Service.

Ms Carruthers was a mother of one from Letterbreen in County Fermanagh.

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