Relatives of a US honeymooner killed in a road crash near a popular tourist destination in Northern Ireland have paid tribute to a kind and loving man.

Michael Monroe, 31, from Orange, Connecticut, sustained fatal injuries in the collision close to the Dark Hedges – a tree-lined avenue in north Antrim made famous by its appearance in the Game Of Thrones TV series.

His wife Caroline was injured in the crash.

A week on from the collision at the junction of Gracehill Road and Bregagh Road in Ballymoney the families of the couple paid tribute and thanked those who have offered support.

Dark HedgesThe crash happened near the Dark Hedges in north Antrim (Northern Ireland Tourist Board/PA)

In statement on behalf of both families, Mrs Monroe’s mother Aileen McKenna and her brother Will Braaksma said: “We are heartbroken over the loss of our sweet Michael Monroe.

“Michael and Caroline were on their honeymoon, a dream trip they planned and saved for, a year after their July 2017 wedding. They were having a wonderful time loving this beautiful country.

“Our tragic loss has been eased by the kindness and support of so many Irish people. We thank the neighbours and first responders at the accident scene, and the staff at both Causeway Coast & Glens and Altnagelvin Hospital.”

They singled out a number of individuals for particular praise, including a woman who sat with Mrs Monroe in hospital in those “first terrible hours” and two other women who picked family members up from Dublin Airport.

They added: “We are forever grateful to the police liaisons who have guided us through these awful and heartbreaking days and also to the Life After group who have done so much for us.

“Michael was a kind, loving man, a teacher beloved by his family, friends and students, but especially by his beautiful bride Caroline and their two dogs, Monty and Milo.

“Please respect our privacy as Caroline heals physically and grieves this dreadful loss, re-imagining a future without her sweet Michael.

“Thank you from the families of Caroline and Michael Monroe.”