Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 20 April 2014

Police probe fatal Co Antrim accident

Rachael Bond walked the family dog along the same stretch of road most evenings.

The 56-year-old woman, whose family was the "centre of her world", was spotted exercising the black and white pet on the Lislagan Road in Ballymoney, Co Antrim, whatever the weather.

Stopping to chat to neighbours in the bungalow-lined thoroughfare, the mother-of-two would wave or ask how they were.

But just half-a-mile from her Torrens Park home on Wednesday evening, as she walked the dog along her normal route between 8pm and 8.30pm, she was struck by a car.

Mrs Bond died from her injuries. The family pet survived.

The police have launched an investigation into the fatal accident. One vehicle was involved.

It is understood that the Bond family had previously lived in the Balnamore area of the town but moved just over a year ago.

Neighbours last night said her husband William and children Kim and Robin are "devastated" by the sudden loss.

Jason Atkinson, who lives close by, said news of the death left people shocked. "Everybody knows everybody in the Lislagan area. Most nights I would have been out I would have seen Rachael out walking the dog.

"She would have been out regularly, whatever the weather.

"I got a text message on Wednesday night to say that Rachael had died. I couldn't believe it.

"She was a quiet but lovely woman who would have stood and talked to you. Rachael will be greatly missed."

Mr Atkinson, a DUP councillor, said her family have been left devastated. "I spoke to William, and to be honest I do not think he can believe what has happened. He is just in shock," he said.

"The daughter is in turmoil at the minute, she is totally shocked at the moment too as you can imagine, it is just such terrible news for any family."

Mr Atkinson said there had been concern about the safety of road as there is no lighting or a footpath.

"I'm not sure what side of the road Rachael was walking along, or if she was on her way to walk the dog or home, but it is a dangerous road to walk along. There have been accidents before."

Mrs Bond attended St Paul's Church of Ireland, in Loughan, Coleraine.

Minister of the church, Rev Amanda Adams, paid tribute to Mrs Bond saying her family was her focus.

"She was a very loving, caring mother and her family were really at the centre of her world.

"Obviously they are just all in shock."

Funeral arrangements are to be finalised.

Police are appealing for anyone who was travelling on the Lislagan Road at the time of the incident to contact them in Ballymoney on 0845 600 8000.