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Community 'devastated' as young mum Clare Smyth and daughter die in Ballycastle crash involving quad bike and tractor

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Police seal off the Whitepark Road outside Ballycastle in County Antrim following an accident in which a mother and daughter died

Police seal off the Whitepark Road outside Ballycastle in County Antrim following an accident in which a mother and daughter died

Photopress Belfast

Police seal off the Whitepark Road outside Ballycastle in County Antrim following an accident in which a mother and daughter died

A Co Antrim community has been left devastated after a young mother and her child died in a two vehicle crash on Tuesday afternoon.

A second child was injured in the collision involving a quad bike and a tractor on Whitepark Road in Ballycastle.

The woman - named locally as Clare Smyth, who is understood to have been aged in her 30s - died alongside her young daughter at the scene.

It is believed she was the driver of the quad which collided with the tractor on the main Causeway Coastal Route.

Her other daughter was airlifted to the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast in a critical condition.

The crash happened at the entrance to the family farm on the edge of Ballycastle town on the road towards Ballintoy and the Giant's Causeway.

It's understood that the young mother had exited the farm, which is situated on the brow of a hill, with her children before the collision with the other vehicle.

The Northern Ireland Ambulance Service, PSNI, police helicopter and Coastguard from Ballycastle and Coleraine, as well as Bangor's Major Trauma Unit, all attended the scene.

Police closed the road on Tuesday afternoon due to what they described as "a serious road traffic collision".

Drivers were asked to avoid the area, with diversions in place at Clare Road.

SDLP Glens councillor, Margaret Anne McKillop offered her condolences to the family.

“The loss of a young mother and her daughter in a road traffic collision is absolutely devastating news," she said.

"Any loss of life is always tragic but particularly more difficult when children are involved. Another child was badly injured in the accident and is in critical condition in hospital. We are all praying that she pulls through.

“The whole community is devastated by this news and it makes it even more difficult that people cannot easily rally around her husband Ryan and their family to support them. I want to send my deepest sympathies to their family and loved ones.”

The Ambulance Service (NIAS) said it had received a 999 call at around 4.46pm following reports of a road traffic collision on the Whitepark Road.

A spokesperson for the NIAS said: "NIAS dispatched two Rapid Response Paramedics, three emergency crews, one doctor and two ambulance officers to the incident. The PSNI and Coastguard also assisted in the incident.

"Following assessment and initial treatment at the scene, one patient was transported to Causeway Hospital initially before being transferred onwards to Belfast by Coastguard helicopter with a HEMS crew on board."

TUV leader and North Antrim MLA Jim Allister told the Belfast Telegraph: "This is a horrendous incident which has plunged this family into incredible grief and first and foremost my thoughts and prayers are with them.

"For a mother and her child to lose their lives simultaneously in this way really is quite dreadful."

Sinn Fein councillor Cara McShane, who lives close to the scene of the crash, said the community was reeling.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone impacted by this tragic accident, compounded at this time by the surreal times that we are living in with the coronavirus pandemic," she said.

"In such a quiet area, the air was almost pierced by the sound of sirens and flashing blue lights of the emergency services, so the news soon rippled out that there had been a tragic accident."

Belfast Telegraph