Northern Ireland

Two soldiers die in crash with tractor in Cullybackey, County Antrim

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

Two soldiers from England have died following a crash involving a car and a tractor in County Antrim.

The men, both aged 24, had been serving in the 2nd Battalion The Rifles based in Lisburn, County Antrim.

They died after the car they were travelling in collided with the tractor on Friday evening at about 20:15 BST on the Ballyconnelly Road in Cullybackey.

It is not yet known where in England the soldiers were from.

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.

The Ballyconnelly Road has since reopened and police have appealed for information.

'Deeply saddened'

North Antrim MLA Jim Allister said that it has been "a bad year for fatalities on our roads".

"Two more deaths on the roads in north Antrim are not just new statistics, but deep heartbreak and loss for further families. My thoughts and sympathies are with all concerned," he said.

"I would urge all drivers to exercise caution and on every occasion to put safety first."

DUP councillor for the area, Billy Henry, said he was "deeply saddened" to hear the news.

He said: "It's horrendous that this news should come to any home at any given time.

"The roads this year, I believe, are claiming way too many lives. I'm a strong advocate of safe driving and for that reason I would ask everyone on our roads at the present time to please be very, very careful.

"To the families of those bereaved, my heart goes out to them and my thoughts and my prayers are with them."

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