Fatal crash on M2 brings death toll on NI roads to 68

The scene on the M2 near Templepatrick, Co Antrim on Tuesday after Monday's fatal crash.
The scene on the M2 near Templepatrick, Co Antrim on Tuesday after Monday's fatal crash.

Another family has been plunged into agony around Christmas following the latest death on the roads in Northern Ireland.

The victim, aged in his 30s, died following a multi-car pile up on the M2 in Co Antrim on Boxing Day.

The man was the driver of a Seat Ibiza car that was involved in a collision with a number of other vehicles shortly before 8.40pm.

Two other men sustained non-life threatening injuries.

John McPoland of the NI Ambulance Service said the incident happened between Templepatrick and Sandyknowes, near the Applegreen service station.

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

Sinn Féin MLA Declan Kearney extended his sympathies to victim’s loved ones.

The South Antrim MLA said: “Any death on the roads is one too many but it is especially poignant at this time of year.”

Inspector Gary McComb is appealing for anyone who witnessed the incident to contact the Collision Investigation Unit on 101 quoting reference number 992 of 26/12/16.

Meanwhile, a man is in a critical condition in hospital after being struck by a car in Crossmaglen, Co Armagh this morning.

Police said the incident happened on Cardinal O’Fiaich Square.

The pedestrian was taken to the Royal Victoria Hospital and a spokesperson for the Belfast Health Trust described his condition as “critical”.

Monday’s fatal crash brings the total number of people killed on Northern Ireland’s roads so far this year to 68.

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

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

In a separate incident on Friday, 36-year-old Paulo Roberto Maia-Lopes from Portugal died due to a single-vehicle crash on the M1 near Tamnamore in Co Tyrone.

Over 14,800 people have died on Northern Ireland’s roads since records began in 1931.

There were 114 deaths that year, and the numbers generally increased as the years went on to a peak of 372 deaths in 1972.

Since then, the numbers have gradually decreased, first falling to double figures in 2010.

The figure in 2012 of 48 road fatalities remains the lowest on record.

Last year, a total of 74 people died on NI’s roads.