A young nurse who was killed in a road crash in Co Antrim last week has been described as a “bubbly, welcoming” person who “got on well with everyone”.
Nichola Baird was killed in a one-vehicle crash on Finvoy Road, Ballymoney last Thursday.
Hundreds of mourners gathered on Monday to pay their respects as Ms Baird, who was in her early 30s, was laid to rest in her home village of Finvoy.
Finvoy Presbyterian Minister Rev Roy Gaston, who conducted the funeral, said the large turnout was “a testament to how well-liked Nichola was”.
He told the News Letter that Ms Baird, a former Ballymoney High School pupil who worked as a staff nurse at Ratheane Private Nursing Home in Coleraine, was “a real people person”.
“She was a very popular young lady and got on well with everyone,” Rev Gaston added.
“Nichola was also a hard worker and her family was very important to her. There is a real sense of shock in the local community that such a bubbly, welcoming young woman could be taken so suddenly.”
In the wake of Ms Baird’s tragic death, North Antrim DUP MLA Mervyn Storey extended his condolences to the Baird family, who he said were well known and well respected in the Finvoy area.
He added: “My eldest son plays in Ballymaconnelly Flute Band with Nichola’s brother. This is a real tragedy which has shocked the local community. A young woman’s life has been cut short in tragic circumstances.
“I want to express my sympathy to the woman’s family and friends as they come to terms with this devastating news.”
North Antrim TUV MLA Jim Allister said: “The loss of this young life will take her parents and family to a dark place suffered by too many as our roads continue to take lives. This local family is very much in my thoughts and prayers.”
Ms Baird is survived by her parents Robin and Thelma and her brother Stuart.