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Tributes for bodybuilder Michelle McStravick and patrol lady Lorraine Clyde after the two work colleagues die in horror crash

By Allan Preston

Published 26/07/2016

Michelle McStravick
Michelle McStravick
The scene of the crash at the junction of the Church and Moneyrod roads

Tributes have been paid to two women who were killed in a car crash while driving to work in Randalstown.

Police have named the victims as Michelle McStravick (35), from Randalstown, and Lorraine Clyde (56), from the Antrim area.

It is understood that both women worked as care assistants for Homecare Independent Living in Coleraine.

Michelle McStravick had a teenage daughter and was also a popular fitness competitor, winning trophies for body-building. She had been looking forward to competing this weekend.

Lorraine Clyde was married with children and was well-known in Antrim as a patrol lady for St Comgall's Primary School.

The crash happened around 7.55am yesterday in Randalstown, on the junction of the Church Road and the Moneyrod Road. The two work colleagues were driving a grey Citroen at the time of the collision.

A man and a woman travelling in a silver-coloured Ford Focus sustained non-life threatening injuries in the incident.

Bren Surgeo, who owns Pure Fitness gym in Ballymena, told the Belfast Telegraph Michelle was a much-loved friend who trained twice a day.

"She was a great competitor," he explained. "She was ready to compete this weekend for Miss Bikini and take another trophy. It's just so sad.

"I heard she was working with a colleague and pulled out of a junction and the accident happened with another car.

"When I opened my gym three years ago, she supported me. We have always been very close friends - she competed with everyone, including my daughter. She's competed nearly every year, and the trophies are there to prove it.

"We're all totally shocked here at the gym. I hear her dad wants to do something in memory of her in the gym. That will be really nice. Her life was in the gym and the fitness industry."

Fellow competitor Lynsey McCrudden posted on Facebook: "Michelle, you were not only my best friend, but my sister and you were such a big part of my life - my mentor, my inspiration.

"You showed me so much. You took me to my first body-building show, where my passion started and my dreams began. I'll miss my superwoman."

Ulster Unionist councillor for Antrim, Jim Montgomery, said the local community was in a state of utter shock following Lorraine's sudden death.

"She was a patrol lady in St Comgall's," he said. "It was a shock and a terrible accident that really could have happened to anybody.

"You just feel sympathy for their family and friends. Her husband, William, would be a popular man in the town. It's a disaster for all the family. My thoughts are with them, as well as with the two who were injured. Hopefully, they make a recovery."

Randalstown DUP councillor Trevor Beatty said the two women would often have been seen in the town taking the same morning route. "It's just a tragedy," he told the Belfast Telegraph.

"Our sympathies go out towards all the families and to all people impacted - the deceased and the injured." Councillor Beatty said he was concerned about high hedges causing poor visibility in the area of the crash.

"I know that particular junction very well, and it is very difficult to negotiate," he explained. "Cars would have to come out a bit to see round the bend."

"I have been in contact with Transport NI in relation to the issue of country roads and hedgerows at this time.

"Care needs to be taken on country roads at the best of times, but particularly this time of year when the hedgerows are growing out and the roads can be narrowed."

Police have appealed for anyone travelling on the Church Road on Monday morning who witnessed the collision to contact local police in Antrim.

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