Schoolboy Marcus Forsythe's mum tells of last moments after he was killed in scrambler crash
The grief-stricken mother of 15-year-old Ballymoney scrambler bike crash victim Marcus Forsythe has revealed how she held her son's hands in hospital until his life ebbed away.
Ballymoney High School pupil Marcus, the youngest of Sarah Henry's three children, died following a two-vehicle road traffic collision on the Taughey Road in Ballymoney at around 4.48pm on Saturday.
Another person on the scrambler was treated at hospital for non-life-threatening injuries.
The occupants of the car were treated at the scene for shock.
Seacon resident Sarah told the Belfast Telegraph she had seen her son lying on the blood-soaked road before he was transferred to the Royal Victoria Hospital, where he died.
"That scrambler bike was his pride and joy, and we always told him to be careful," she tearfully revealed. "The last thing he said to me when he went out the door was, 'Love you Mum'.
"A girl who knew Marcus told me that my son had been in an accident and took me down.
"There was blood all over the road and the scrambler was in two or three bits."
Sarah said that when she and Marcus' father David Forsythe arrived at the hospital, her son was still alive.
"We stayed with him 'til he died, we held onto his hands," she said. "His wee head was cold, his hands were cold. His heart kept going, up and down, he was a fighter.
"Then he stopped breathing, he couldn't fight no more.
"He passed away and I kept asking the doctors, 'Is there nothing you can do?'
"We always told him to put on his helmet, but we don't know if a helmet could have saved him."
Sarah, who is also mum to daughters Shannon (20) and Kirsty (23), revealed that she spent the night in Marcus' empty room in the aftermath of the tragedy.
"He was my youngest child and my only boy," she said.
"I slept on his bed with Shannon on Sunday night, clutching a photo of him and hugging his pillow. I held his picture to my heart. I can't believe he's gone. He was such a lovely wee'un, loveable and polite."
Sarah also revealed that Marcus had been "left for dead" in a separate incident a few weeks before the fatal collision, when a car collided with his bike and left the scene. "They left him for dead, he was covered in bruises, but we didn't get a numberplate so we didn't report that incident to the police," she said. "His friend Jack had to pull him off the road that time. It was a hit and run, they just left him there."
Marcus' death is the second tragedy to hit the family in recent months, after his cousin Callan Parsons passed away in his sleep on July 15 due to a genetic condition.
"The family is just devastated. Callan was only 23 when he died, and now we have lost Marcus too," Sarah said. "We are trying to support each other.
"I would like Marcus to be remembered for what he was - a nice, polite, loveable boy who always said 'I love you Mum'.
"He wanted to be a mechanic or joiner and was talking about going to Tech.
"He loved going to car cruises and to the North West 200, and we will be keeping up those traditions in his memory.
"I had bought him a wee car which I was planning to get taxed and insured for him when he turned 17, but he never got to drive it.
"We're going to get a plaque and put it on the car in his memory, and one of his friends has suggested doing the car up the way Marcus wanted to.
"I would urge other young people to take care out on the road and to wear their helmets always. It's better to be safe than sorry. As a parent, you never think you'll have to bury your child."