Northern Ireland news

M2 crash victim praised for work with vulnerable adults

The scene of the fatal crash on the M2 Motorway on December 26. Picture by Justin Kernohan
Paul Ainsworth

A MAN who died in a crash on the M2 on Monday was an “amazing and dedicated” support worker for adults with learning difficulties, a former colleague has said.

Stephen Martin's Seat Ibiza car was involved in a collision with several other vehicles on a stretch of the motorway between Templepatrick and Sandyknowes shortly before 8.40pm.

Two other men were treated for non-life-threatening injuries. The crash forced police to close part of the M2 until Tuesday afternoon.

Mr Martin, who was 35 and from Lisburn, was the 68th person to die on the north’s roads this year and the second to lose his life on a motorway over the Christmas period.

He was praised by former colleagues at the charity where he worked for five years until last summer.

At the Lisburn branch of Positive Futures, he helped adults with special needs lead fulfilling lives.

Manager Claire Gawley said: “Myself and colleagues had the pleasure of working with Stephen for many years before he went on to pastures new, and he was an inspiring, amazing and dedicated member of our team, who was highly respected and trusted by all staff and clients.

“Stephen’s role included helping people live independently in their own homes, and many are thankful he was there to support them and guide them in the right direction.

“He was incredibly reliable, loved his work, and always had a smile on his face.

"He was very well thought of and will be sadly missed by all here who knew him.”

Meanwhile, police have named the victim of a crash on the M1 in Co Tyrone on Friday December 23 as Paulo Roberto Maia- Lopes.

He was 36-years-old and from Portugal but had been living in the Dungannon area.

No other vehicle was involved in the crash, which happened near Tamnamore at about 12.35pm.

Police have appealed to anyone who saw what happened to contact them.

Several serious road crashes have been reported over the last 10 days.

On December 22, Amy Loughrey (25) from Derry’s Waterside area died following a crash in Fahan, Co Donegal.

On the same day, a motorcyclist was involved in a collision with a car on Killyclogher Road near Omagh. He remained in a critical condition in the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast last night.

The man, from the village of Killyclogher, is understood to be in his early twenties.

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