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Ballymena in shock after teen James Mercer dies in road crash

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James Steel Mercer

James Steel Mercer

James Steel Mercer

Condolences have been expressed to the family of a man who died in a crash involving a tractor and a motorcycle in Co Antrim.

James Steel Mercer from Ballymena, who is believed to have been in his late teens, died following the accident on the Cullybackey Road outside the town. Police said the two-vehicle collision happened shortly after 3.15pm on Tuesday.

Mr Mercer and another victim involved in the incident were both taken to hospital but sadly the young man lost his life.

James Henry Funeral Services in Ballymena shared a photo of Mr Mercer, who was known as Steel, and said he was "the much loved son of Ian and Kirsty, beloved brother of Finlay, adored grandson of Walter and Barbara and Maitland McNeill and the late Rosemary".

The Cullybackey Road was closed in both directions between the junctions with the Teeshan Road and the Woodtown Road for several hours, while the air ambulance also attended the scene.

The Mayor of Mid and East Antrim Borough Council, Councillor Maureen Morrow, said that her "heart goes out to the family and friends" of Mr Mercer.

"Words seem inadequate when trying to express the level of grief that a tragedy like this has on the family, friends and indeed the whole community," added the UUP councillor.

"I would also like to express my deep gratitude to the emergency services who attended the scene."

TUV councillor Stewart McDonald added that it was "devastating news, a terrible tragedy and heartbreaking for his family".

A spokesperson for the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service said two emergency crews, two doctors and one officer were dispatched to the scene.

"The charity Air Ambulance with HEMS crew were also tasked to the incident," the spokesperson added.

"Following assessment and initial treatment at the scene, two patients were transported by ambulance, one to the Royal Victoria Hospital, Belfast, and one to Antrim Area Hospital."

Inspector Rory Bradley appealed to anyone who was in the area at the time of the crash and captured the incident on their dash cam to contact police on the non-emergency number 101, quoting reference number 1001 05/05/20.

Due to current government restrictions Mr Mercer's funeral will be strictly private.

Donations in lieu of flowers, if desired, can be sent to James Henry Funeral Services, Ballymena, Air Ambulance Northern Ireland and breast cancer charity Pretty 'n' Pink.

Belfast Telegraph