Teenager Christopher Martin killed in crash coming home from birthday party

Police remove the car Christopher Martin was driving when he crashed on Saintfield Road, Crossgar, Co Down yesterday morning 
John Monaghan

A TEENAGER who died in a road crash in Co Down has been described as someone who "gave 100 per cent" by his former football coach.

Christopher Martin (18), from Crossgar, was killed when the car he was driving left the road around 4am yesterday morning.

The crash happened on the Saintfield Road in Crossgar.

It is understood Christopher, who had been living in Downpatrick, was returning home after a night out with friends in Belfast at the time of the crash.

The teenager, who left St Patrick's Grammar in Downpatrick last year after finishing his A levels, was believed to be on a gap year before starting university and had been working at Sports Direct in the town.

He is the second teenager to die in a road crash in the area in just three months, after the death of 18-year-old Matthew Davis was killed less than five miles away in Saintfield in January.

The teenager, who hours earlier had scored the winning penalty for his school, St Colman's Ballynahinch, in a Northern Ireland Schools Under 18 Plate, was killed in a two-vehicle crash on the Lisburn Road near Saintfield on his way to work in Sainsbury's in Lisburn.

It has emerged that both teenagers were also former pupils of St Colmcille's High School in Crossgar before transferring to separate schools to study A levels.

Although both age 18 they were not in the same year group.

Christopher, a keen soccer player, had represented amateur league side Kilmore Rec FC at various underage levels after first joining the club's Under 11 team.

Gerard Linden, who was one of the teenager's coaches during his time at Kilmore Rec, described him as a "a great trainer who gave 100 per cent".

"He was a great trainer who never missed a session and gave 100 per cent every time. He was proud to put on the Kilmore Rec jersey and he was just Kilmore through and through."

One online tribute described Christopher as "a lovely person", while another added: "Will miss his lovely smile in work."

South Down SDLP MP Margaret Ritchie said: "Death is always tragic whenever it takes place, but it is more alarming, numbing and poignant when it happens abruptly as a result of an accident."

Sinn Féin South Down MLA Chris Hazzard said the death had "shocked the local community".

Police have appealed for anyone with information to contact officers on 101.

Christopher is survived by his parents Kieran and Anne Marie, his brother Philip and sister Hannah.

Requiem Mass will be celebrated in the Church Of The Immaculate Conception and St Joseph, Crossgar, on Wednesday at noon followed by burial in The Holy Family Cemetery in Teconnaught.


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