Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 24 April 2014

Motorcyclist killed in crash was an off-duty policeman

A man killed in a traffic collision yesterday is understood to have been an off-duty police officer.

The 39-year-old died following the incident which involved his motorcycle and a car.

The fatal crash happened at the junction of the Sand Road and Woodtown Road, just outside Ballymena, yesterday morning.

It is believed the victim was a serving police officer based in Londonderry.

His name has not yet been released.

He is believed to have been pronounced dead on arrival at Antrim Area Hospital.

The people travelling in the car were said to be shaken but uninjured.

Police have appealed for anyone who witnessed the accident, which happened at around 9.30am, to contact them.

Ulster Unionist MLA for the area, Robin Swann, said the junction is notorious locally as being on a precarious stretch of road and can be tricky to negotiate for those who are unfamiliar with it.

“It is a notoriously bad junction for people, particularly if they are not from the area,” he said.

“Locals would be well aware of the dangers it poses.

“My thoughts are with the man’s family at this time after this extremely sad incident.”

Veteran DUP councillor Tommy Nicholl said he has been campaigning for more than three decades for a roundabout to be installed in the vicinity of yesterday’s accident. “I would use that road a lot,” he said.

“I have been wanting to get a roundabout there for years, but to no avail.

“We have seen far too many accidents.

“I’m shocked by this and it’s sad that this stretch of road has claimed another life.”

DUP Assembly Member David McIlveen described the death as “very sad news” and extended his sympathies to the victim’s family.

The man is the 27th person — and the third motorcyclist — to be killed on our roads this year. The PSNI’s Bikesafe awareness campaign has been credited with helping drive down the number of motorcycle deaths locally.

A total of 59 people were killed on Northern Ireland's roads in 2011, compared to 55 in 2010, the lowest figure since records began in 1931.

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