The death of a 27-year-old man in a crash near Sprucefield on Sunday evening has been described as “a tragic loss of a young life.”
Ryan Phillips, from the Lisburn area, died following a collision involving two off-road motorcycles on the Lagan Towpath, between Halftown Road and the M1 park and ride facility.
An 18-year-old man who was also injured was taken to hospital for treatment. His injuries are not believed to be life threatening at this time.
A former student of the South Eastern Regional College, Ryan studied construction at the local campus in 2008/09.
“The governing body, college management team and staff of South Eastern Regional College deeply regret the tragic passing of former student Ryan Phillips. Our deepest sympathy goes to his family circle and friends,” a college spokesperson said.
Reacting to Sunday night’s incident, Lagan Valley MP Sir Jeffrey Donaldson described Mr Phillips’ death as “yet another tragic loss of a young life in our city.”
“We don’t yet know fully the circumstances of how this tragedy occurred, but our thoughts and prayers are with Ryan’s family at this very sad time. I’m sure the community will rally round and we will do all we can to support them in the days and months ahead,” he said.
UUP election candidate Jenny Palmer commented: “As a party, we would extend our sympathies to the family of the man who died in this tragedy and wish the young man who was injured a full recovery. Even if we did not know the victims, we can, as a community all play a part by remembering the victims’ families in our thoughts and prayers at this difficult time.”
DUP representative Edwin Poots described Mr Phillips’ death as “terrible news”.
Expressing his shock and sadness at Ryan’s death, friend Ross Manley posted on Facebook: “RIP Ryan Phillips. Fly high up there mate miss you so much.”
Police are continuing to investigate the tragic incident, which happened shortly after 6pm, and have appealed for witnesses to contact them on 101 quoting reference number 957 of 19/02/17.