Family’s tribute after tragic death

Chain Reaction Cycles
Chain Reaction Cycles

The family of a 57-year-old man who died at Co Antrim business premises said he was “a much loved father” who will “never ever” be forgotten.

Stephen Hegarty died after “being trapped between two vehicles” at 9pm on Tuesday outside Chain Reaction Cycles on the Kilbride Road in Doagh.

His son Craig told the News Letter on Wednesday that Stephen was “a much loved father of three - Sarah, Craig and Mark”.

He added that his father was also “a much loved son, brother and uncle who will be sorely missed and never ever forgotten”.

A spokesman for Chain Reaction Cycles said: “I can confirm that as a result of an accident at our Kilbride Road, Doagh site last night, one of our employees has tragically died.

“Our immediate concerns and sympathies are with his family, friends and colleagues at this very difficult time.

“Chain Reaction Cycles is working closely with both the PSNI and HSENI regarding the circumstances which led to this tragic accident and until their investigations are complete we are unable to comment any further.”

John McPoland from the NI Ambulance Service said they “received a call just after 9pm of a man being crushed between two vehicles on the Kilbride Road”.

“Witnesses to the incident carried out resuscitation attempts at the scene before paramedics took over but unfortunately despite their best efforts the gentleman died at the scene,” he said.

“The thoughts and prayers of the ambulance service are with his family at this time.”

A PSNI spokesman said officers attended the scene.

Newtownabbey Borough Council said they were investigating the circumstances surrounding the tragic death.

A spokesman said yesterday: “It is the council’s responsibility to investigate the circumstances of the death under the Health and Safety at Work (Northern Ireland) Order 1978.

“Council staff were quickly on site at the premises last night and investigations are ongoing. We extend sympathies to the family, friends and colleagues of the man who died.”

DUP MP William McCrea said: “This is a tragedy that this has happened for the family and for the business where it happened.”

He added: “We trust the family are able to find strength through this knowing the community are thinking of them and praying for them.”

Ballyclare TUV councillor David Arthurs, who knew the victim’s family, said he trusted the authorities and business will work together to establish the facts and “prevent such tragedy striking again”.