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FAMILY DEVASTATED

Thursday, 9 November 2017

FAMILY DEVASTATED thumbnailThe late Stephen McElwee.

POLICE have renewed their appeal for witnesses to a serious road crash near Sion Mills which has claimed the life of a young father-of-two and left his friend seriously ill in hospital.

Thirty-year-old Stephen McElwee, from Garvan Park, Glebe, passed away in Altnagelvin Hospital, on Thursday from injuries sustained in a two-vehicle collision near his home on October 26.

The accident involving a black Volkswagen Passat and a blue Vauxhall Astra occurred at around 11.10pm on the Peacock Road.

Another man, Sean McGaughey, also from the local area and aged in his 30s, yesterday (Tuesday) remained in a critical condition at Royal Victoria Hospital, a spokesperson for the Belfast Trust said.

A man in his 60s, understood to have been driving the Passat, was treated at the scene, but was not seriously injured.

On Sunday morning, St Theresa's Church in Sion Mills was packed to capacity as Mr McElwee's distraught family and friends joined with hundreds of mourners for his funeral service.

Conducting the service was parish priest, Rev Thomas Canning, who spoke of the shock felt within the community following Mr McElwee's death.

 

He said family and friends are still struggling to come to terms with the tragedy.

In his homily, the priest spoke of Mr McElwee's devotion to his partner, young family and wider family circle.

He was a hard-working individual who had a passion for cars, he said.

"Stephen was always an obliging son and a good father, uncle, brother and friend to many, and was a person who always loved to be of service to others, loved his work and had a real passion for constructing cars," the priest added.

The priest said that it had been a tough week for the family adding that the community had been providing any support they could and would keep them in their thoughts and prayers in the difficult days ahead.

 

A popular individual within the locality, news of Mr McElwee's passing has caused widespread shock with many of his friends taking to social media to pay heartfelt tributes.

Many of the tributes described the 30-year-old as an "amazing and funny" person and "a fun loving fella".

One tribute read: "Rest in peace...A young man that I never seen without a smile on his face. Taken well before his time.

Thoughts are with the entire family."

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