Northern Ireland

Tributes paid to soldiers who died in Cullybackey crash

Ballyconnelly Road
The men died after their car collided with a tractor on the Ballyconnelly Road

Tributes have been paid to two soldiers from England who died in a crash in County Antrim.

Their car was involved in a collision with a tractor on the Ballyconnelly Road in Cullybackey on Friday night.

Lance Corporal David Gwilt and Rifleman Dale Harris, both 24, served with the 2nd Battalion The Rifles based in Lisburn, County Antrim.

In a statement, their regiment said their "tragic deaths" had come as a "terrible shock".

It was issued on behalf of the commanding officer, officers and soldiers of the 2nd Battalion The Rifles.

'Heartfelt condolences'

"David and Dale were much liked, professional and hugely competent soldiers who had fantastic futures ahead of them," the statement said.

"The whole battalion is deeply saddened by their loss and our heartfelt condolences go to their families and friends at this most difficult time."

Rifleman Harris came from Barnsley in South Yorkshire.

Lance Corporal Gwilt came from Bedford in Bedfordshire.

A 21-year-old man who was also in the car suffered head injuries that are not believed to be life-threatening.

The driver of the tractor was treated at the scene.

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