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Co Antrim crash victim 'fantastic individual' say shocked friends

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Emergency services at the scene of the crash outside Armoy on Thursday night

Emergency services at the scene of the crash outside Armoy on Thursday night

Emergency services at the scene of the crash outside Armoy on Thursday night

Tributes have been paid to a man who died in a road accident in Co Antrim on Thursday evening.

The man, named locally as Fra Watson (41), lived in Ballycastle but was originally from Armoy and has been described as a "fantastic character and a fantastic individual".

Police confirmed that the two-vehicle collision on the Drones Road near Armoy was reported at 6.45pm and had involved a white Volkswagen Golf and a silver Kia Picanto.

It is believed that the two other people involved in the crash - who were in the Kia Picanto - were tourists.

Mr Watson is survived by his partner and three children.

Independent councillor for the area Padraig McShane, who was a close friend of the construction worker and former Glens Rovers GAC hurler, said yesterday that Mr Watson "was very well thought of" and that he came from a very highly-regarded family in the area.

"My thoughts and prayers are extended to Fra's family and his wide circle of friends at this tragic time," he said.

Sinn Fein councillor Cara McShane passed on her condolences to the loved ones of all those who were involved in the tragic accident.

"The people of north Antrim are reeling from this after waking up to more sad news of another fatality on our roads," she added.

"I also understand the PSNI are appealing for anyone with information or dash-cam footage to come forward and I want to echo this appeal."

North Antrim MLA Mervyn Storey also expressed his sadness at the death of Mr Watson.

"My thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends of the gentleman who tragically lost his life in this road accident," said the DUP man.

"The PSNI recently reported that the number of fatalities on our roads over the Christmas period has risen sharply compared to the same period last year. It is a matter of deep regret that lives are continuing to be lost in this way."

He added: "I want to pay tribute to the emergency services for their dedication in dealing with this incident and encourage anyone who may have information on the circumstances to contact the PSNI."

SDLP councillor Margaret-Anne McKillop said that her thoughts and prayers are with Mr Watson's family and she hoped the other people who were involved in the crash made a full recovery.

The PSNI's Inspector Moore said that police are continuing their investigation into the collision.

"We would ask anyone who witnessed the collision, or who was driving in the area and has dash-cam footage which could assist our enquiries, to contact the Collision Investigation Unit on 101 quoting reference number 1645 06/02/20," he said.

A spokesperson for the NI Ambulance Service explained that a 999 call was received on Thursday at 6.53pm and three emergency crews and one doctor were dispatched to the incident.

Following assessment at the scene, no one was taken to hospital. The Drones Road, which had been closed due to the collision, later reopened.

Belfast Telegraph