Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 16 April 2014

Family of young bike star who died in car crash take comfort from his gift of life to others

Jonny Buckley

An only son's errand to help his mother ended with the tragic death of a promising young motorbike racer, it emerged last night.

The "devastated" parents of 27-year-old Jonny Buckley were said to be greatly comforted by the fact that their son's death will help others through his organ donations.

The young Co Antirm man was said to have been a future contender for the Irish Supersport championship and destined for bigger things in the sport that he was passionate about.

He became the 41st person to die this year on Northern Ireland's roads when the car he was driving crashed along a country road in the Ballyclare area on Monday night.

Described as having a "heart of gold", Mr Buckley was on his way with an electrician friend to fix a light at his mother's house on the Braepark Road, Ballyclare.

The emergency services attended the accident scene – just a mile from his mother's house – shortly after 9.20pm, where Mr Buckley was found to have already died from his injuries.

It's understood that his passenger was later treated in Antrim Area Hospital for a broken arm in the single vehicle car crash.

The young man harboured ambitions to go into road racing, but his father Keith, who had himself been a road racer, had warned his son off about getting involved due to the dangers.

Speaking last night to the Belfast Telegraph, Mr Buckley senior said: "He was voted Ireland's most promising short circuit racer in 2007 and always a serious competitor. He lived for racing and bikes.

"Jonny carried a donor card and we take some comfort that from his death, his organs will go to help others, just the way he would have wanted."

The father and son worked together in the family's highly successful Module Road and Race accessories store in Antrim, where his contribution was described as "impossible to replace".

The Buckley family are originally from Kent, England and moved over to Northern Ireland when Jonny was five so that his father could start up the business here. He lived with his father and sister Charrisa (24) in the family home in Dunadry. His mother Deborah lives in Ballyclare.

A single man who would have celebrated his 28th birthday on October 29, Jonny started his motorbike circuit racing career in 2006 and quickly marked himself out as a future star.

QUOTES

Keith Buckley, the father of young motorbike racing contender Jonny Buckley, who died in a car crash on Monday night, said: "He was voted Ireland's most promising short circuit racer in 2007 and always a serious competitor. He lived for racing and bikes. His mother Deborah and I and his younger sister Charissa are absolutely devastated by this. Jonny carried a donor card and we take some comfort that from his death, his organs will go to help others, just the way he would have wanted."

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