Belfast Telegraph

Monday 15 September 2014

Young dad killed after motorbike collision in Co Antrim

True gentleman: Russell Cairns
True gentleman: Russell Cairns

A father-of-three killed after his motorcycle was in collision with a tractor has been described as "a gentleman, leader and friend".

Thirty-two-year-old Russell Cairns died following the crash in Ballymena on Monday.

Devout Christian Mr Cairns worked for a church in the Co Antrim town and was married with three young children.

Friends of Mr Cairns, a former Queen's University student, said they were devastated by the news.

Gillian Craig last night described him as "gentle, humble, kind and generous".

"He will leave a huge gap in many lives and our thoughts and prayers go out to Danielle (Mr Cairns' wife) and family," she said.

Another friend described Mr Cairns as "a true gentleman".

Dozens of tributes were posted on Mr Cairns' Facebook page.

Mr Cairns was involved in the collision on the Woodtown Road yesterday morning. The area was closed to traffic as a result.

A spokeswoman for Green Pastures, where Mr Cairns was a member of the church's executive team, said the congregation's thoughts and prayers were with Mr Cairns' family circle.

Ballymena's deputy mayor James McClean lives close to where yesterday's accident happened. He said Mr Cairns' death was "an utter tragedy".

TUV leader Jim Allister, an MLA for the area, said he was saddened by the news.

Yesterday's fatal crash was the second on the same stretch of road in less than a year. An off-duty police officer was killed after a collision between his motorcycle and a car last September.

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