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Tributes to Saintfield crash victim teen Christopher Martin

By Lisa Smyth

Tributes have been paid to a young man who died in a single vehicle crash in Co Down at the weekend.

Christopher Martin from the Brackenridge area of Downpatrick died when the car he was driving left the Saintfield Road outside Crossgar in the early hours of yesterday.

He is the 12th person to lose their life on Northern Ireland's roads this year.

Mr Martin, who is believed to have been 19, is survived by his mum Anne Marie, dad Kieran, sister Hannah and brother Philip.

He will be laid to rest on Wednesday morning, with the funeral cortege leaving from the family home at 11.15am for Requiem Mass at noon in The Church of the Immaculate Conception and St Joseph in Crossgar.

He will be laid to rest in The Holy Family Cemetery, Teconnaught. Mr Martin was described as extremely popular among his peers and was a keen footballer, who played for Patrician Youth Centre football teams in his younger years.

South Down MP Margaret Ritchie said she was devastated to learn another young person had lost their life on the roads in Co Down.

"My sympathies are with the family of the young man who has been killed and I know that the local community will surround them and offer them support, both practical and emotional, in the difficult weeks and months ahead," she said.

Sinn Fein MLA Chris Hazzard said the local community had been shocked by Mr Martin's death.

"Any death on our roads is one too many," he said.

"My thoughts are with the family and friends of this man at this sad and difficult time.

"I would call on anyone who can help the investigation into this tragedy to contact the PSNI."

SDLP councillor John Trainor also expressed his sympathies to the family of Mr Martin and said friends had been left heartbroken by his death.

"It is terrible when anyone dies but particularly so in such sudden circumstances," he said.

The accident was reported shortly before 4am yesterday.

Anyone with information can speak to police by ringing 101 and quoting reference number 341 02/04/17.

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