Tributes are paid to latest crash victim

Craig Moates'''Original Caption   -   Members of the Banbridge SELB District Youth Council, front, Ashleigh Irwin and Paula Stewart chairperson, with back, Rory Diamond, Craig Moates, and Gareth Hammond. Included are Roisin McConville, area youth officer, and Colette Ross, senior Youth worker.
Craig Moates'''Original Caption - Members of the Banbridge SELB District Youth Council, front, Ashleigh Irwin and Paula Stewart chairperson, with back, Rory Diamond, Craig Moates, and Gareth Hammond. Included are Roisin McConville, area youth officer, and Colette Ross, senior Youth worker.

The young Banbridge man who died in a one-vehicle road traffic collision just outside his home town in the early hours of Tuesday, September 9, has been named locally as Craig Moates.

Mr Moates, who is in his 20s, died following the 2am collision on the Lisnaree Road.

Friends of the late Craig Moates who lost his life on Tuesday in the fatal accident on the Lisnaree Road, gathered at Loughbrickland Park on Friday night to pay tribute and release lanterns in his memory � Edward Byrne Photography INBL1437-231EB

Friends of the late Craig Moates who lost his life on Tuesday in the fatal accident on the Lisnaree Road, gathered at Loughbrickland Park on Friday night to pay tribute and release lanterns in his memory � Edward Byrne Photography INBL1437-231EB

The road remained closed for hours as inquiries into the incident continued.

The Banbridge man is the 55th person to die on Ulster’s roads this year.

This time last year 40 people had been killed on our roads.

Colette Ross, a senior youth worker with the Southern Education and Library Board, said she had worked with Mr Moates some years ago when he was a member of the Youth Council.

The late Craig Moates' girlfriend Karen and friend Aaron release the first lantern in his memory � Edward Byrne Photography INBL1437-230EB

The late Craig Moates' girlfriend Karen and friend Aaron release the first lantern in his memory � Edward Byrne Photography INBL1437-230EB

She said he was “very active, very popular and a very sociable fellow who got on well with everybody”.

“He was very good at speaking on behalf of the group, and a very skilled young man who represented the young people of the district very well,” she said.

“He was very ready to get involved and very hands-on.

“I want to pay my condolences to his family.

“I know young people who had worked in the group with him are very saddened by the news.”

UUP councillor for Banbridge, Glenn Barr, also extended his sympathies to Mr Moates’ family.

“My thoughts and prayers are with his family at this time,” he said.

Independent unionist MLA for South Down John McCallister said: “My thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of this young man.

“It is a stark reminder of our roads and the dangers on them.

“It is terribly sad for his family.”

SDLP Upper Bann MLA Dolores Kelly also said it was “devastating news” and “it is unimaginable what the victim’s family must be going through”.

“My thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends at this time,” she said.

Former colleagues on the Youth Council also paid tribute to Craig.

Former chairperson, Paula Stewart, said: “He was a great addition to the Youth Council and very highly thought of.”

Former member Ashleigh Irwin, who became a peer educator, said: “He was a real pleasure to work with, great fun and a great contributor.”

Tributes and messages of sympathy also flooded his Facebook page.