Belfast Telegraph

Minute's silence for American honeymooner who died in road crash near Dark Hedges

Michael and Caroline Monroe
Michael and Caroline Monroe
Donna Deeney

By Donna Deeney

A minute's silence will be held in memory of an American honeymooner who died in a road accident near the Dark Hedges, ahead of a meeting calling for safety measures at the tourist attraction.

Life After, a support group for people bereaved through road collisions, will meet today with Road Safety NI, police, the Dark Hedges Trust and politicians to call for new signs at a dangerous crossroads.

Last September, the group supported Caroline Monroe when her husband Michael (31) died after a two car collision on the Gracehill Road, near Armoy in Co Antrim.

The newly-weds had been keen to see the tree-lined Dark Hedges made famous by the Game of Thrones hit TV series. Christopher Sherrard, from Life After, said new road safety measures are needed before another tragedy occurs.

"As a group we are all too familiar with the pain and trauma felt at the loss of a loved one in a road death but Caroline was far away from her family in America when Michael died. We were able to help her at the time of the tragedy and have remained in contact with her and Michael's family since, so we thought it was appropriate to dedicate this meeting to him and to begin with a minute's silence to remember him.

"The Dark Hedges is such a popular destination with tourists, particularly American tourists and the Open Championships being held in Portrush in a few weeks time will increase the number of visitors significantly. Unfortunately the roads in the area were never designed to cope with the volume of traffic and the large coaches that use them on a daily basis.

"There are a couple of crossroads that don't show up as a crossroad on satnavs and as a result people are driving straight on without stopping or giving way and this is leading to lots of collisions."

The gro up is asking for 'stop' signs at the crossroads as well as better tourism signage on the approach to the Dark Hedges.

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