Poignant last journey for Johnny

PICTURE MARK JAMIESON.
PICTURE MARK JAMIESON.

The coffin of one of the youngest HGV drivers in Northern Ireland was poignantly taken on the rear of a lorry to a graveyard on Thursday.

A lorry tractor unit was transformed into a makeshift hearse as 19-year-old Johnny Black was buried near his home in Ballycastle.

He was one of two young men killed in a horror car smash in the early hours of Easter Monday at Cushendall Road, Ballycastle.

Robin Wilson (26), who was buried in nearby Armoy on Friday, also died in the road traffic collision which saw several others taken to hospital.

On Thursday the remains of Mr Black were taken from his home at Glenshesk near Ballycastle in a coffin placed on a specially constructed base behind the truck cab of a lorry tractor unit which is normally more associated with pulling 40ft long trailers.

The funeral cortege included a convoy of at least six lorries and passed the scene of the fatal collision on the way to St Patrick’s Church in Ballyvoy where mourners said it was a fitting final journey for the teenager who loved driving lorries for his family firm, Seamus Black Haulage, to destinations as far away as Italy.

Mr Black is survived by his parents Seamus and Maureen, as well as his sister Nuala and girlfriend Christine.

Parish Priest, Fr Raymond Fulton, extended the sympathy of the congregation to the family of Robin Wilson and said in a “beautiful gesture” on Tuesday, members of the Wilson family were present to pay their respects as Mr Black’s remains were being brought home.

Fr Fulton said: “To all who were involved in this horrendous incident, to the victims I wish them a speedy recovery and to their families our thoughts and prayers, and I think we should mention Clodagh (Arbuckle) she is the one who is sickest of all, she has the greatest injuries.

“This particular time is not for recrimination and questioning because our hearts our broken and we are deeply saddened at the death of Johnny, one who lived his life in fun, love and laughter and as Nuala said he never did stress.

“He left a deep impression, a lasting impression, on those that met him, He was easy going, quietly confident, and just good to be around. The family were immensely proud of him as a son and a brother and he was also good at the old trucking as well.

“Johnny lived his 19 years well, he worked hard, he brought joy to people’s lives especially to his family and by his contribution made this world a better place to live in.”

Mr Black was interred in the church graveyard.

Robin Wilson’s funeral took place on Friday leaving from Bushmills for burial at Armoy Presbyterian Churchyard.

He is survived by his parents Andrew and Patricia, along with his three brothers Graham, Marc and Matthew.

On Thursday, the PSNI confirmed a man was interviewed on Wednesday in relation to the crash.

Inspector Mick Wood said: “Police interviewed a man yesterday in connection with this fatal RTC. The man was not arrested and the investigation continues.”