‘A tragedy that has been felt by entire community’

Road tragedy: The scene of Monday's fatal crash on the Ballymena Road, near Doagh which claimed the life of 21-year-old Michelle Antoinette Hulford. INNT 28-048-FP  Pic by Freddie Parkinson
Road tragedy: The scene of Monday's fatal crash on the Ballymena Road, near Doagh which claimed the life of 21-year-old Michelle Antoinette Hulford. INNT 28-048-FP Pic by Freddie Parkinson
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THE death of a 21-year-old woman in a road crash near Doagh earlier this week has been described as “a tragedy that has been felt by the entire community.”

Michelle Antoinette Hulford, who was originally from Luton and was visiting Northern Ireland, died following a two-vehicle collision on the Ballymena Road on Monday morning (July 9). The crash, which involved a car and an agricultural-type vehicle, happened shortly before 10am.

A 54-year-old woman who was also travelling in the car is still seriously ill in hospital. Three other people who were in the vehicle - a 27-year-old man, a 25-year-old woman and a 14-month old child - were also injured in the crash.

The driver of the agricultural vehicle, whose age has not been released, sustained facial injuries.

Local political representatives have expressed their sympathies to Miss Hulford’s family and friends, and wished those injured in the crash a speedy recovery.

Ballyclare councillor Pat McCudden commented: “My thoughts are with all those involved in this devastating crash. It is a tragedy that has been felt by the entire community.

“This stretch of road has a long history of shocking accidents and this latest incident highlights the dangers on our roads and underlines the importance of improving road safety.

“I would like to express my deep condolences to the families of the deceased and injured at this difficult time.”

South Antrim MLA Paul Girvan added: “I would just like to pass on my sympathies to the family of the young woman who was killed - this was an absolute tragedy. I would also like to pass on my best wishes to those injured in the crash and we pray that God will watch over them at this time and we hope and pray that they make a full recovery.

“There have been a number of fatalities over the years on that section of the road, and we need to see if anything can be done to slow the traffic down and improve safety on that particular part of the road.”

The Ballymena Road was closed between the junctions of Grange Road and Newmill Road for several hours on Monday while the emergency services and crash investigators attended the scene.

Police officers investigating the tragedy have appealed for witnesses to contact them at Antrim Station on 0845 600 8000.