At the conclusion of an inquest into the tragic deaths of two lifelong friends, the coroner has issued a warning to anybody thinking of driving the morning after a night of drinking.

Killian Doherty (19) and Maurice McCloughan (19) died in a crash on the Doogary Road, Omagh on the morning of December 10, 2016.

During his conclusion, Coroner Patrick McGurgan found that Mr. Doherty was driving a Renault Laguna while being over the legal limit for alcohol when it collided with another car just outside Omagh.

He said it was a combination of inexperience, as Mr. Doherty had only passed his driving test a year previous, and alcohol which stopped Mr. Doherty from controlling the car after it hit a grass verge before spinning and colliding with the car being driven by Gerard McCann.

Mr. McGurgan warned the public to pay attention to what happened to the two friends who he said had “got up to go to work and never came back”.

“This crash happened after they came home from a night out and had gone to bed and slept.

“If there is any doubt about the effects of alcohol the morning after a night out... you should not drink and drive when you are out and for some considerable time the morning after.

“If their passing can save other lives then some positive message may come from this inquest.

“If any member of the public had any doubt about the consequences of a fatal road collision, they should come to court and see the trauma on the faces of relatives who have to listen to the details of the last moments of their loved one’s lives.”

The inquest heard how Mr. Doherty and Mr. McCloughan had travelled to Greencastle to Carmel McCusker’s, Mr. Doherty’s aunt’s, home. From there they went to Draperstown on a night out with Mr. Doherty’s cousins. They returned to the house at around 2am and according to his aunt were in bed by 3.30am. Shortly after 7am, Mr. Doherty came into his aunt’s bedroom to retrieve his keys which she had kept under her pillow for safekeeping. The two men left the house at around 7.20am.

A forensic scientist, Gavin Dunn gave evidence which stated that speed was not a contributing factor in the crash with both vehicles travelling at around 45mph at the time of the collision.

Mr. Dunn told the inquest how Mr. McCloughan had been ejected from the car even though he was wearing a seatbelt.

He explained that because the rear of Renault Laguna impacted with the oncoming car, the force caused the seats to recline and resulting in Mr. McCloughan being ejected from the vehicle. He added that this was not unusual in rear end collisions.

Mr. McGurgan read out a letter from Mr. Doherty’s mother, Carmel Doherty in which she thanked those who attended the scene and also sent he heartfelt condolences to the McCloughan family on the “loss of their beautiful son”.

He also paid tribute to the dignity of the families during the inquest when it can be very traumatic and stressful to hear and relive the last moments of loved one’s lives and the friendship which remained between the two families.

Mr. McGurgan found that Mr. Doherty had died from head, neck and chest injuries as a result of a road traffic collision and that Mr. McCloughan died from injuries caused to his chest, abdomen and head.