Relative of MLA fighting for life after motorcycle crash

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A relative of independent unionist MLA Claire Sugden was last night fighting for his life in the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast after he sustained “life-changing injuries” in a two-vehicle collision in Limavady.

The injured motorcyclist, named locally as Paul Butcher, who is related through marriage to Ms Sugden, was involved in a collision with a car on the Ballyquin Road around 2.45pm on Saturday.

“The motorcyclist, a man aged in his 40s, was taken to hospital for treatment to his injuries which are described as serious and life changing,” according to the PSNI.

“The driver of the car, a woman aged in her 20s, was taken to hospital for treatment for shock.”

Yesterday a spokesman for the Belfast Trust said the motorcyclist remained in a “critical” condition.

DUP MP Gregory Campbell said: “Obviously this is an exceptionally difficult time for members of the family when an accident like this occurs.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with them at this time. This is doubly difficult for Claire given the political spotlight has been on her in such a big way in the last few days – and now an accident like this to cope with as well.

“People, I am sure, will rally around her and the family as well.”

DUP Alderman Alan Robinson, of Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council, said: “I know social media was alive last night making reference to how decent a bloke this fella is.

“And the community is absolutely shocked especially as it comes a week after a very tragic incident down in Portrush at the North West. And now we have a family waiting at a bedside for a father and a much-loved son.”

Sinn Fein councillor for Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council, Brenda Chivers, added that she was “shocked at hearing about the collision”.