Northern Ireland news

West Belfast shopkeeper killed and another critically injured in Crumlin crash

Robert Laverty died following a crash at Crumlin's Moira Road on Wednesday morning. Picture: PSNI
Paul Ainsworth

A west Belfast shopkeeper has died following a two-vehicle crash in Crumlin, Co Antrim, which has left another man fighting for his life in hospital.

Robert Laverty died at the scene of the collision which happened on the Moira Road on Wednesday morning.

The 74-year-old, who ran the Newsflash newsagents in the Dairy Farm shopping centre for decades, was driving a Renault Scenic which was involved in a collision with a Ford Fiesta at 7.15am.

Emergency services including paramedics and firefighters were called to the area, but Mr Laverty was pronounced dead at the scene.

A spokesperson from the PSNI's Collision Investigation Unit said the driver of the other vehicle, who is in his 20s, was taken to hospital for treatment to "serious injuries", adding that he "remains in a critical condition".

The Moira Road was closed throughout Wednesday before later reopening to motorists.

“Our investigation is underway and we are appealing to anyone who was travelling in the area at around this time, and who may have  dash-cam footage or any information which could assist us with our inquiries, to contact the Collision Investigation Unit on 101, quoting reference number 266 of 283105/23," the spokesperson added.

In a statement posted to social media, a spokesperson for the Dairy Farm described Mr Laverty as a "dear friend".

"We would like to extend our deepest sympathies to Robert’s family at this very sad time," they said.

"Robert was a pillar of our community serving customers for nearly 30 years from the Newsflash. Robert will be missed by all. RIP"

Among customers to pay tribute were Brenda McCorry, who said Mr Laverty was "always so patient and helpful", while Frances Armstrong said he was "a character with a heart of gold".

Northern Ireland news