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Easter holiday horror as two die and a third battles for life after head-on Ballycastle crash

Emergency worker describes 3am smash as the worst he's ever seen

By Rebecca Black

Published 07/04/2015

Johnny Black (19) and Robin Wilson (26) were killed in the Ballycastle crash. Eighteen-year-old Clodagh Arbuckle is fighting for her life in hospital.
Johnny Black (19) and Robin Wilson (26) were killed in the Ballycastle crash. Eighteen-year-old Clodagh Arbuckle is fighting for her life in hospital.
Police at the scene of the accident
Tragic loss: the remains of one of the vehicles in the Easter Monday collision
Johnny Black who died in in the crash
Robin Wilson died from his injuries
Clodagh Arbuckle who remains critical in hospital

Two young men are dead and a teenage girl is fighting for her life following a horror Easter car crash.

Johnny Black (19) from Ballycastle died following a head-on collision between two cars on the Cushendall Road at 3.40am on Monday.

Six other young people were taken to hospital, but the life of a second man could not be saved.

Robin Wilson (26), from Armoy, died from his injuries, while schoolgirl Clodagh Arbuckle (18) is critically ill.

The sixth former at Cross and Passion College in Ballycastle is being treated at the Royal Victoria Hospital for serious injuries.

Another woman is also being treated at the RVH where she is described as stable. Three men and a woman are being cared for at the Causeway Hospital where they are also described as stable.

Miss Arbuckle is understood to have been a passenger in one of the two cars involved in the collision a short distance from Ballycastle.

The cars involved were a Peugeot 207 and a Volkswagen Bora.

One of the emergency workers has spoken of how it was the worst crash scene he has ever seen.

Workers at Seamus Black Livestock Haulage gathered at the Black family home yesterday to pay their respects to their former colleague Johnny.

SDLP leader Alisdair McDonnell said he knows the Black family well.

"I have known the family for a long time and this news has devastated me and the entire family," he said. "I want to pass on my deepest condolences to Johnny's family and the family of the second victim at this very difficult time."

A 36-year-old woman also remained critically ill in hospital last night. A further three people were hurt, but their injuries are not believed to be life-threatening.

PSNI Inspector Mick Wood has appealed for anyone who may have witnessed the collision to contact officers.

Local Sinn Fein councillor Cara McShane said the crash has left the town reeling.

"There is not a family in the area that would not know someone involved in that crash," she said. "Ballycastle is a small, close-knit community. "This whole area is in complete shock at the news."

Ms McShane said most of the emergency workers who attended the scene were locals, and that they have been left shaken by what they witnessed.

"It was particularly difficult for them as they knew many of the people who had been involved in the crash," she said.

"The scene of the accident was really severe, one of the emergency workers has said it is the worst crash scene he has ever seen."

She also spoke of how well liked and respected the family of Johnny Black are in the area.

He was the only son of Seamus who runs the haulage business.

"The young lad who died in the crash, his family would be very widely known and respected," she said.

A former mayor of Ballymoney said devastation following the crash is being felt right across north Antrim.

Bill Kennedy knew crash victim Robin Wilson.

The DUP man described the former Ballycastle High School pupil as a hard worker, with a love of cars.

"A lovely big fella, he was always in a boiler suit - he worked as an engineer," he said.

"He was a quiet chap, a real hard-worker.

"Robin lived for his cars. He loved cars and he had a girlfriend.

"The whole family are well-known and very respected.

"It's such a tragic thing to happen at Easter time when these young people were out enjoying themselves.

"This has sent shockwaves throughout the whole community," Mr Kennedy added. "It's so, so sad. I knew the other young boy killed too.

"It's been a terrible weekend of deaths on our roads. This has left some very sad homes."

Belfast Telegraph

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