Ballymena black ice causes six crashes in one hour
Multiple crashes caused major delays for bank holiday motorists as treacherous icy conditions struck parts of Northern Ireland yesterday.
Four people were trapped in their car after a three-vehicle accident near Ballymena yesterday morning, while another woman was rushed to hospital following a separate smash.
Police warned drivers to exercise "extreme caution" on the A26 near Ballymena after a spate of crashes outside the town.
There were six collisions in just over an hour in the area yesterday morning, though most were minor in nature.
Police advised motorists to take care on the Lisnevenagh Road (A26) between the Dunsilly roundabout outside Antrim town and the Seven Towers roundabout coming in to Ballymena, due to the icy conditions.
The three-vehicle crash, which left one car on its side, happened just after 9am.
Four people were cut free from the car on its side, however they were not seriously injured.
In the second incident involving one car a woman was taken to hospital.
Police released images of the collisions on social media and described the roads as "treacherous".
PSNI Ballymena said on its Facebook page: "B section have attended six traffic collisions so far this morning in our area.
"Drivers please be extra careful on the roads, they are treacherous. The road service are aware and will be out trying to make the roads safer for us all."
One motorist posting on the Northern Ireland Area Traffic Watch Facebook page reported a serious crash on the Antrim-bound section of the road. "Avoid A26 at all costs... it is seriously slippy," the driver warned.
Yesterday's spate of crashes comes after two people were seriously injured in a collision between two cars on New Year's Day. The crash happened on the Dunsilly Road, close to the Dunsilly Hotel, on Sunday morning.
Meanwhile, local Ulster Unionist councillor Jim Montgomery raised questions yesterday over the gritting of the A26. "While it was below freezing, it wasn't that cold that the gritting would lose its effect," he said.
"It seems very strange that, if it was gritted, all those crashes occurred.
"Some of them seem to be quite serious incidents - one of them (the cars) was left in a ditch."
Mr Montgomery added: "Main roads should be gritted and I would still encourage people to be careful as the roads remain slippy.
"The roads were very deceptive, there seemed to be quite a bit of black ice.
"My car also slid around a corner - it's dangerous."