Belfast Telegraph

Consulate supports widow of US tourist Michael Munroe killed in Northern Ireland crash

The scene of the accident at the junction of Bregagh and Gracehill roads near Armoy
The scene of the accident at the junction of Bregagh and Gracehill roads near Armoy
Mervyn Storey
SF’s Cara McShane
Claire McNeilly

By Claire McNeilly

The heartbroken widow of an American tourist who died in a road accident near a popular Northern Ireland tourist attraction is being supported by officials from the US Consulate.

Tragic honeymooner Michael Munroe (31) from Orange, Connecticut, sustained fatal injuries in a two-car collision on Gracehill Road in Armoy on Tuesday.

The road is close to the Dark Hedges - a tree-lined avenue made famous by its appearance in the popular Game Of Thrones television series.

It is understood that Mr Munroe's wife, who is in her 30s and suffered non-life-threatening injuries in the crash, was discharged from hospital yesterday.

A US Consulate spokesman said they are doing everything they can to offer support.

"The Consulate was made aware of a fatal road traffic accident involving an American citizen in north Antrim and is providing consular support," he said. "Our thoughts are with the individual's family and friends at this difficult time".

North Antrim DUP MLA Mervyn Storey expressed his sadness and raised concerns about the safety of the junction where the collision happened.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of the deceased and all those involved in this very sad news," he said.

"For some time now I have been raising concerns with Road Service about this junction and another one on the same road known locally at Walkers Cross.

"This junction is used by tourists visiting the Dark Hedges and would be unfamiliar to visitors."

Mr Storey said there have been a number of serious accidents at this crossing and also at Walkers Cross over the last few months.

"I will be asking to meet Divisional Roads manager David Porter and the PSNI to see what can be done to make these two particular junctions safer," he said.

"Road Service have already agreed to additional signage, however, in light of this accident that will have to be reviewed."

Sinn Fein's Cara McShane said the infrastructure around the Dark Hedges needs to be examined as a priority.

The councillor said there has been a huge increase in the number of tourists flocking to the area over the past five years, but the infrastructure has not been developed in line with the increase in visitors.

"That goes for a huge part of our coastline as well," she said.

"It is only a matter of time there will be more accidents unless urgent action is taken. Unfortunately any action has come too late for one family."

Meanwhile, police officers are focusing on road safety operations across Northern Ireland today in a bid to highlight the road safety message as the winter nights approach.

Chief Inspector Diane Pennington said: "Tragically, so far this year, 39 people have been killed in road traffic collisions and many more have received life changing injuries.

"With inattention, excessive speed for the conditions and drink or drug driving, consistently the main causes of the most serious collisions in which people are killed or seriously injured, officers will be running focused operations in hotspot areas to detect road users taking unnecessary and potentially life-changing risks."

Belfast Telegraph


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