Stephen Carmichael: band members and mayor extend sympathies following crash tragedy near Ballyclare

Police have named the man who died following a road traffic collision in Ballyclare on Saturday, May 25, as 33-year-old Stephen Carmichael from the Ballyclare area. Picture: family image.Police have named the man who died following a road traffic collision in Ballyclare on Saturday, May 25, as 33-year-old Stephen Carmichael from the Ballyclare area. Picture: family image.
Police have named the man who died following a road traffic collision in Ballyclare on Saturday, May 25, as 33-year-old Stephen Carmichael from the Ballyclare area. Picture: family image.
The Mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey said “his heart goes out to the Ballyclare community” following the death of father-of-three Stephen Carmichael in a tragic traffic collision at the weekend.

Extending his condolences to Mr Carmichael’s family and friends, Councillor Mark Cooper added: “Let's remember that life is fragile and cherish every moment.”

Mr Carmichael sadly passed away after his car was involved in a crash on the Ballyrobert Road outside Ballyclare late on Saturday night.

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He will be laid to rest following a Service of Thanksgiving for his life on Wednesday at 2pm in S & J Irvine’s Funeral Home, 48 Rashee Road, Ballyclare. Burial will take place afterwards in Rashee Cemetery.

A man in his 30s has died following a road collision on the Ballyrobert Road in Ballyclare late on Saturday night, May 25. Picture: Arthur Allison / Pacemaker PressA man in his 30s has died following a road collision on the Ballyrobert Road in Ballyclare late on Saturday night, May 25. Picture: Arthur Allison / Pacemaker Press
A man in his 30s has died following a road collision on the Ballyrobert Road in Ballyclare late on Saturday night, May 25. Picture: Arthur Allison / Pacemaker Press

A family notice describes him as “loving and devoted husband of Vicky, loving daddy of Leah, Brooke, and Junior. Precious son of Richard. Loving wee bro to Jacqui, Jeanette, Noreen, Realana, Richard and Andrew. Son-in-law to Adrian and Tracey.”

His family have asked that any donations in lieu of flowers should please benefit the Northern Ireland Children’s Hospice c/o S & J Irvine funeral directors.

The notice continues: “Stephen will be greatly missed, loved and remembered always by his entire family circle, friends and work colleagues.

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"Beautiful memories treasured forever, of happy days we had together.

"Those we love don’t go away, they walk beside us every day.”

The loyalist band community has spoken of shock and sadness at learning of the tragedy.

Tributes to the 33-year-old Ballyclare Memorial Flute Band member have been paid by band members across east Antrim and further afield.

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Ballyclare Protestant Boys Flute Band extended their sympathies in a social media post, saying: “This morning we got the devastating news of the passing of Stephen Carmichael, former member of Ballyclare Protestant Boys and current member of Ballyclare Memorial Flute Band.

"On behalf of all officers and band members we send our condolences to our former chairman Andrew Carmichael who is a brother of Stephen, his family, his friends and all the members of Ballyclare Memorial Flute Band who we will keep them in our thoughts and prayers at these saddened times.”

A spokesperson for Larne-based Constable Anderson Memorial Flute Band said members are “devastated” to learn of the tragedy.

"Stephen was formerly a member of Ballyclare Protestant Boys before recently starting up Ballyclare Memorial and we have a great friendship with both bands. We would like to pass on our condolences to Stephen’s family and friends at this very difficult time.”

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Other bands who paid online tributes included Clyde Valley Flute Band, Monkstown YCV Flute Band, Drumderg Loyalists Flute Band, Gertrude Star Flute Band and Pride Of The East Flute Band.

Following the crash, PSNI Roads Policing Inspector Cherith Adair said: "We received a report shortly before midnight, that a black Volkswagen had been involved in a collision.

"Our officers attended, alongside colleagues from Northern Ireland Ambulance Service and Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service.

"Sadly, a man aged in his 30s, was pronounced deceased at the scene.”

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Collision Investigation Unit officers are continuing to investigate the circumstances of the collision and have appealed to anyone with any information, or who may have dashcam or mobile phone footage available, to get in contact with them at the Collision Investigation Unit in Sprucefield on 101, quoting reference number 2011 of 25/05/24.

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