Driver sought after fatal motorbike crash

A male motorcyclist has died in a collison on the Belfast Road in Newtownards close to the junction with Milecross Road.
A male motorcyclist has died in a collison on the Belfast Road in Newtownards close to the junction with Milecross Road.

The PSNI want to trace the driver of a vehicle following a crash which left a motorcyclist dead.

The police said the motorbike crashed on the Belfast Road, Newtownards, close to the junction with Milecross Road on the western edge of the town.

Police accident scene

Police accident scene

The collision happened in the early afternoon on Sunday.

Police did not state whether any other vehicles were known to have been involved.

They are now seeking witnesses to the crash, and are especially keen to talk to the driver of a blue or purple Ford Kuga.

This individual is believed to have stopped at the scene, but left before officers arrived.

They did not say if the driver is thought to be male or female.

They also did not say which direction the motorbike rider had been travelling in.

The ambulance service said they received a call about 12.45pm to say that a male – estimated by the caller to have been roughly in his mid-40s – had come off his bike.

The information provided to the ambulance service gave “no indication of any other vehicles involved”, said a spokesman.

The rider died at the scene.

Alderman Alan McDowell, Alliance councillor for the Newtownards area of Ards and North Down Borough Council, said that the portion of road on which the crash occurred is “very bendy”.

The same stretch has seen “a number of accidents” in the past, he said – including ones resulting in fatalities.

“In fact, in the last few years they’ve brought a 40mph speed limit onto it,” he said, adding that the previous limit would have been 60mph.

The police investigation is currently at an early stage, and there is no indication speed was a factor in the incident.

Alderman McDowell also said that the road had recently been resurfaced.

He described the weather as “lovely” on Sunday afternoon.

He concluded: “I offer my sympathies to the family and friends of the motorcyclist. It’s a terrible tragedy to happen.”

He said that he would urge the Kuga driver, and anyone else who happens to have any information relevant to the incident, to get in touch with the PSNI.

Alliance mayor of the borough Deborah Girvan echoed his sympathies for the family and friends of the crash victim.

To contact the PSNI about this incident, telephone 101, and give the reference: 205 30/07/16.