Belfast Telegraph

Husband and parents distraught at death of 'one in a million' Karla

Family at bedside as Ballymena woman dies after horror car crash

By Cate McCurry

The devastated family of a young Sunday school teacher caught up in a car crash were at her bedside as she passed away on Thursday.

Karla Cameron had been on a life-support machine after her car collided with another vehicle at a notorious junction on the main road between Antrim and Ballymena.

The 25-year-old was travelling on the A26 Lisnevenagh Road during rush hour, with heavy fog making visibility extremely poor.

The nursery school teacher, from the Ballymena area, had celebrated her third wedding anniversary with her childhood sweetheart, David, in December.

Hundreds of tributes were paid online to Karla, who has remembered as an "extremely thoughtful" woman. Her death takes the number of people killed on our roads so far this year to 10 - double this time last year.

The Sunday school teacher was a member of Ballee Baptist Church in Ballymena. Pastor Lawrence Kennedy from the church spent time with the family following Karla's death.

"David and Karla were in charge of our children's meetings, our Good News clubs," he said. "The folk just loved her and they are devastated at the tragedy.

"I was with the family, and they are absolutely devastated. She was an only child so her mum and dad are heartbroken. It's so difficult for them at the moment.

"She met David at school. She had a very personal faith that was very important to her and it meant that all the work she did for the Church... she felt this was a way of repaying the Lord for what he did for her. I spent a lot of time with David. I was reminding him of the promises of God's word, and that's all we can do at a time like this because words can sometimes seem so empty and so bland.

"He found some comfort in that, and he feels his spiritual and natural family are supporting him. But he's distraught."

Karla was also an assistant manager at Country Treasures Daycare outside Randalstown.Owner Kieran McCavana said: "We thought the world of Karla. She didn't just work for us - she was part of the family. Everyone is devastated at her loss. She was extremely thoughtful. She was so conscientiousness and she was just one in a million and we will miss her deeply. She worked with us for over three years. Her and my wife know each other exceptionally well. We are all a bit numb. We have closed for today and are closed on Monday for the funeral. Staff are too devastated to work.

"She knew every parent and child here, it is just gut-wrenching. She will be deeply missed."

The crash happened almost a year to the day after Avril Dempster, from nearby Ahoghill, was killed in an accident at the same junction.

Local politicians and residents have repeatedly raised concerns over the road's safety.

TUV leader and North Antrim MLA Jim Allister called for long-overdue improvements to be carried out following the latest death.

"It was almost a year on from when the other lady was killed at that junction, and in that year we have had promises about reviews but no action,"he said.

"That is the most dangerous junction proven on that road. The biggest problem is crossing the roads, and I understand that is what has happened here.

"The junction is a death-trap. How many times does that have to be proven before action is taken? I think that really is the abiding question that comes out of this further tragedy. It's not reviews we need, it's action."

Hundreds of tributes were posted on David's Facebook page with many expressing their shock at Karla's sudden death.

One friend posted: "David so sorry to hear about Karla. Please be assured of our thoughts and prayers for you and your families."

Another said: "Such a shock David, so hard to take in. Karla was such a lovely girl and would have done anything for anyone. She will sadly be missed by us. We are thinking of the whole family circle at this very difficult time. Be assured of our love support and prayers."

Belfast Telegraph


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