A car thief who may have left his friend dying by the side of the road after their vehicle crashed was today being hunted by police.
A man in his early 20s died after the black Vauxhall Vectra he was in overturned on the Ballydonaghy Road in Crumlin yesterday.
He was found lying beside the wreckage of the car when the accident was reported to police shortly after 8am. He was later pronounced dead in hospital.
It is understood the car may have been stolen from the Dundrod area near Lisburn a short time before the collision.
Police said there were possibly two people in the car and have appealed for anyone who witnessed the crash or who may have seen the vehicle in the Lisburn area shortly before the accident, to contact them in Antrim.
Crumlin Sinn Fein councillor Anne Marie Logue said joyriding is a serious problem in the area and called on the PSNI to provide more police patrols to try and address the problem.
“This is another tragic loss of life due to joyriding. This area can be a real problem with joyriders and this is not the first time there has been a crash,” she said.
“People need to be aware that very early in the morning this road can be quite dangerous and there would be a high risk in relation to high speed motorists and joyriders. There have been incidents close by were people have been hijacked.
“Coming up to Christmas there seems to be an escalation in relation to joyriding. Joyriding is a scourge on our community. The problem has escalated over the past month or two. Police need to be more vigilant. We need more police vehicles on the road and to stakeout the area.”
South Antrim MLA Thomas Burns said that whatever the circumstances surrounding the crash, a family has been left grieving. “No one would want that to come to their door,” he added.
A PSNI spokeswoman said: “Police are investigating the circumstances surrounding the accident and would ask anyone with information to contact them on 0845 600 8000.”
In a separate incident a woman in her 20s remained seriously ill in hospital today after she crashed her car on the Ballydrain Road outside Comber on Saturday evening. No other vehicle is thought to have been involved.
Two other women sustained minor injuries after a car left the Boucher Road in Belfast yesterday and hit barriers.
Meanwhile, engineers from Northern Ireland Electricity carried out repairs on the Whiterock Road in Killinchy, Co Down, on Saturday after a car smashed into an electricity pole. There were no reports of any injuries.