Car drives home safety message

Source: County Down Spectator

OVER a thousand people paid an emotional tribute to two young men last Sunday night, a week after they lost their lives in a fatal car accident.

All walks of life came and saw the wreckage of the Toyota MR2 in which the pair died; it was on display at Abbey Street car park on Sunday night.

The first police operation of its kind was hailed as a success by members of the community despite criticism that it was a shock tactic.

As hundreds continued to wait to see the wreck, police filed traffic into a single file as they passed the accident scene at the Belfast Road carriageway in Bangor, at around 9.20pm.

Exactly a week after the crash, police officers carried out a leaflet drop and appealed to drivers who had been in the area to come forward with any information.

Family and friends also gathered at the crash scene to pay their own personal tribute to 22 year old Tanver Ahmed, of Valencia Way, Newtownards, and 18 year old Neil Carson from Ormiston Crescent, Belfast.

The two men lost their lives after the car they were travelling in careered off the Belfast Road and struck a tree and road sign, 200 metres from the Springhill flyover, on Sunday, February 9, at around 9.45pm.

The police operation took place beside the accident scene which has been covered in hundreds of bouquets of flowers, cards and notes over the past week.

The huge public response to the wreck came after heartbroken family members of the two young men made an emotional plea for other young drivers to slow down.

The families hoped their appeal for others to reduce their speed would prevent other families having to suffer their devastation and loss.

In a courageous move, Mr Ahmed's younger brother Akeel Ahmed called for young drivers to see the wreckage for themselves.

Last week he told the Spectator "They need to think about what they are doing, before they go for that bit of fun that turned into tragedy for Tanver and Neil."

North Down MP Sylvia Hermon was among the elected representatives to visit the wreckage and paid tribute to the two families for putting the wreckage on display.

"I think it is very courageous to allow the vehicle to be used like this, when it is still raw and painful. I commend the police for the efforts they have made to bring home to young people the danger of driving at speed."

Bangor PSNI Inspector Lyster King described the operation as 'successful' and praised both families for their involvement.

"It was a very successful initiative which had a tremendous impact on everyone who saw the wreckage. It is tragic that the police had to take this particular course of action.

"I would once again like to thank the families of Neil and Tanver for allowing us to carry out this operation and I hope that as a result, some loss of life or serious injury may be averted in the future.

"However, I would once again put out an appeal for anyone who may have seen the road traffic collision to get in touch with the investigating officer, Sergeant Robinson."