Family’s ‘devastating loss’ after M2 road death

The scene on the M2 near Templepatrick on Tuesday

The scene on the M2 near Templepatrick on Tuesday

A relative of a Co Antrim man who died following a horror road crash on the M2 on Boxing Day has spoken of their family’s “devastating loss”.

Stephen Martin, aged 36 from Lisburn, was the driver of a car that was involved in a collision with a number of other vehicles on the Co Antrim motorway shortly before 8.40pm.

The scene on the M2 near Templepatrick after the fatal crash

The scene on the M2 near Templepatrick after the fatal crash

The incident happened between Templepatrick and Sandyknowes, near the Applegreen service station.

Two other men sustained non-life threatening injuries during the incident.

Shirley O’Neill, a second cousin of the victim, said the family has been left “deeply shocked” by the tragedy.

She added: “It is a horrible thing to happen at any time of the year, but for it to happen around Christmas time makes it all the more difficult.

“The family has been left devastated by this news and we are still not sure what exactly happened to Stephen at this stage.”

The motorway was closed to traffic while police carried out an investigation, and reopened yesterday afternoon.

Monday night’s tragedy was the third in a series of road deaths over the past week in Ulster.

Just before Christmas, two other families were left heartbroken after losing loved ones in separate crashes.

Amy Loughrey, 25, from the Waterside area of Londonderry, was killed in a two-vehicle crash in Co Donegal on Thursday, December 22.

On Friday, a man died in a single-vehicle crash on the M1 near Tamnamore in Co Tyrone.

The death toll on Northern Ireland’s roads in 2016 now stands at 68.

Last year, a total of 74 people were killed in road traffic collisions in NI.

Meanwhile, two men remain critically ill in hospital following separate incidents on our roads.

A man in his 20s sustained serious injuries after a hit-and-run in Crossmaglen, Co Armagh yesterday, while a motorcyclist is also in a critical condition after a crash in Co Tyrone last Thursday.