Quiet road becomes site of North West 200 carnage
It is a little bit of idyllic suburbia by the sea.
Normally Station Road in Portstewart is a quiet street but for a few days each year it becomes part of the world -famous race, with motorbikes going past at 150mph just feet from front doors.
Spectators are banned from lining the footpath but they are allowed to stand inside gardens lining both sides of the street and on Saturday, after a dramatic on-course collision, within seconds there was carnage.
Residents said the scene was like something out of a "war-zone", with motorbikes lying crumpled on the roadway. The ferocity of the incident led to a metal street pole being sliced in two and debris flying through the air.
Again, residents used a word associated with war to describe it, saying the debris from the accident was like "shrapnel".
A female spectator, standing in a driveway along with around 10 other people, received a head injury, leaving her in a coma in hospital where, like one of the riders, she was described as being in a serious condition.
More than 24 hours after the high-speed smash, the remains of the lamppost could be seen on the ground and nearby, garden walls were cracked.
There were black skid marks on the footpath and small pieces of the high-powered race machinery littered the ground.
Around 100 yards away a small bunch of flowers was tied to another lamppost where a racer was killed at Station Road a number of years ago. And within the blink of an eye on Saturday, high-performance motorbikes were transformed into flying airborne missiles as the riders were catapulted into the air like rag dolls before landing on the road and footpath.
Last night the hopes and prayers of residents and everyone associated with the NW200 were with the injured.
Now questions are being asked as to whether spectators should be banned from gardens at Station Road.