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Woman (44) injured in NW200 crash now stable

Spectator Violet McAfee, who is in a stable condition in hospital following an accident at the NW200

A 44-YEAR-OLD spectator seriously injured during a crash at the North West 200 road races was in a stable condition in hospital last night.

Violet McAfee was in the garden of a friend's house when three bikes crashed during the Superstock race on Saturday.

The mother-of-one was airlifted to Belfast's Royal Victoria Hospital in a critical condition. However, she was described as in a stable condition last night.

Three riders - Dean Harrison, Horst Saiger and Stephen Thompson - were involved in the crash.

Thompson suffered serious injuries is being treated in the Royal Victoria Hospital. He was also in a stable condition last night.

Saiger was treated in Coleraine's Causeway Hospital for a broken arm and has since returned home to Liechtenstein.

Harrison was uninjured.

Ms McAfee's mother, Kathleen McAfee, told Radio Foyle how she first learned of the accident.

"I was working at the time and I just went to pieces basically, it was so shocking.

"I just couldn't believe what I was hearing.

"All I was told was there had been an accident and they were taking her to hospital, people were working on her."

Ms McAfee described the crash as a "freak accident".

"This is just an accident," she said.

"Will it ever happen again? I don't know. It's a freak accident."

Mervyn Whyte, director of the North West 200, confirmed that both Violet McAfee and Stephen Thompson are now in a stable condition.

"I have spoken to their families and will be visiting the hospital again this evening," he said.

"The organisers of the North West 200 will offer our full support to Violet and Stephen and their families and I want to assure them that they are in our thoughts and prayers throughout this time. I am sure all of you will want to join with me in wishing both of them a full and speedy recovery.

"I would also like to thank the members of the medical team who were involved in treating those who were injured on Saturday. The care and expertise they provide is the very best in the world and we are very grateful that we have this available to us at the North West 200.

"A full investigation is underway into the incident, which will be completed very soon."

Meanwhile, finance minister Simon Hamilton has said the possibility of purchasing an air ambulance for the north will be investigated.

“That will require not just investment in a helicopter but investment in staff and maintenance... but also infrastructure to ensure that there is an appropriate place to land it," he said.

"It is something that is on the agenda and the events of the weekend highlight it."

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