Heartbroken son's tribute to generous dad killed in crash
The only son of the 35th person to die on Northern Ireland's roads this year has hailed his father as someone who would "give you his last pound and borrow another five to make sure you weren't stuck".
Gary Wilson Jnr told the Belfast Telegraph his father was his hero, 12 hours after the 50-year-old died in a three-vehicle pile-up yesterday morning.
Gary Wilson, from Lisburn, who has two grandchildren, was driving on the Old Ballynahinch Road in his home city just before 7am when he was killed in the smash.
His son yesterday evening posted a picture of his father cuddling him on his Facebook page in an image that seems to have been taken on Christmas Day, as the pair are wearing pink party hats.
Mr Wilson Jnr told the Belfast Telegraph: "That's my dad and me 27 years ago. I'm his only son and he leaves two grandchildren behind - Christian (9) and Zach (5).
"I know most say their dad is the best. Mine was the man who would give you his last pound and then borrow another five to make sure you weren't stuck.
"He was forever doing an odd job or favour for someone and he didn't even have to know them as a friend to do it.
"He was a proud dad and granda, and such a handy man. We joked he owned half of Screwfix and there was no job he couldn't tackle."
Mr Wilson Jnr also posted the message to the dozens of friends who wrote online about their sorrow: "Thank you for the kind words. He was in a car accident this morning. And died at the scene. Heart's broke."
One Facebook user, Larry Ferguson, wrote about Mr Wilson: "Just found out that I have lost an old high school classmate. I am still in disbelief. Rest in peace Gary Wilson. You will be missed. Hope to once again see you at the crossroads."
DUP MP for Lagan Valley, Sir Jeffrey Donaldson, posted on Twitter: "Sad news from Lisburn. My thoughts and prayers are with the family of Gary Wilson."
More than one person a week has died on Northern Ireland's roads so far this year, the youngest of whom was aged three.
Three of the deaths have come in the last four days.
On Sunday, a 66-year-old motorcyclist died in Newry after his vehicle collided with a Land Rover SUV believed to be towing a caravan at the time.
Three-year-old Christopher Ward died on Friday afternoon at Daisy Hill Hospital in Newry after being hit by a truck that morning at Dobson's Way in Bessbrook, Co Armagh.
The funeral mass for the little boy was held yesterday morning in The Church Of St Peter & St Paul in Bessbrook, Co Armagh, and Christopher was buried in Cloughogue cemetery.
His family, part of the settled Traveller community in Bessbrook, posted a family notice that read: "He will be sadly missed by his heartbroken daddy, mummy (John and Michelle) and his entire family, friends and community."
On Tuesday police re-issued their appeal for information.
Inspector Savage said: "50-year-old Gary Wilson was killed when his grey BMW 3 Series was involved in a collision with a silver Volkswagen Passat and a white Ford Transit van on the Old Ballynahinch Road shortly before 7am on Monday 14 August.
"We are keen to hear from anyone who witnessed the crash or who saw any of these vehicles travelling on the Old Ballynahinch Road prior to the collision.
"We would especially like to hear from anyone who may have spotted Mr Wilson’s BMW travelling out of Lisburn towards Ballynahinch between 6.30am and 6.55am on Monday morning.
"Officers can be contacted at the Collision Investigation Unit by calling 101, quoting reference number 200 14/08/17."