Belfast York Road crash: Tributes pour in as new dad in his 20s dies
A man in his 20s died in hospital on Friday night after his car was involved in a crash at a busy north Belfast road.
The incident happened yesterday morning on York Road, close to its junction with the Limestone Road, with a silver Toyota Supra slamming into a tree.
An Ambulance Service accident and emergency team and a rapid response paramedic quickly arrived at the scene, as did two fire appliances.
Rescue teams cut the injured driver free from his wrecked vehicle and took him to the city's Royal Victoria Hospital, where he later died.
The victim was named locally as Kevin Kearney, a young family man from the north of the city who recently celebrated the birth of a baby.
Speaking to the Belfast Telegraph, SDLP man Paul McCusker called the crash "horrific" and passed on his condolences to the victim's family.
"The whole local community is shocked at this dreadful news", the Belfast City councillor added. "There is a sense of numbness. My thoughts are with his grieving family tonight."
On social media, friends and relatives paid tribute to Mr Kearney, who had the affectionate nickname 'Hotdog'.
A friend, Ciaran Largey, wrote on Facebook: "Literally in tears!! Another mate to bury! RIP Kevin Kearney 'Hotdog'. Love ya mate! Until we meet again bro! My heart's broke."
Michaela Burns, meanwhile, called Mr Kearney "a lovely person". "Cruel world we live in," she wrote online.
"RIP Kevin Kearney - you were such a lovely person. Thoughts and prayers go to your family. Can't believe it."
Police cordoned off the road and advised motorists to avoid the area as they began their investigations into the cause of the crash.
A PSNI spokesman said: "Motorists are advised that York Road in Belfast has been closed between Brougham Street and North Queen Street following a single-vehicle road traffic collision close to the Rite Price Carpets store. Diversions are in place and motorists should avoid the area and seek an alternative route for their journey."
The road closures and diversions caused by the crash created traffic chaos across the north of the city.
Yesterday's fatality brings to 59 the number of people who have died on our roads this year, including 11 pedestrians.
PSNI investigating officer Inspector McCullough appealed for anyone who was travelling on York Street yesterday morning and who witnessed the collision to contact local officers at Tennent Street or the collision investigation unit on the non-emergency 101 number.