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She touched so many lives, says son, as tragic road crash nurse Muriel Wing laid to rest

By Allan Preston

Published 10/08/2016

Family and friends at Banbridge Road Presbyterian Church for the funeral of Muriel Wing, who died after the car she was travelling in collided with a coach
Family and friends at Banbridge Road Presbyterian Church for the funeral of Muriel Wing, who died after the car she was travelling in collided with a coach
Family and friends at Banbridge Road Presbyterian Church for the funeral of Muriel Wing, who died after the car she was travelling in collided with a coach
Muriel Wing

The son of a Dromore woman who was killed in a crash last Friday has said his mother would be "very badly missed by an awful lot of people".

Muriel Wing (65) - a grandmother-of-three who worked as an auxiliary nurse at Craigavon Area Hospital - died last Friday morning after her car collided with a Rooney's coach on the A1 as she drove to Belfast.

Her funeral was held yesterday afternoon in Banbridge Road Presbyterian Church in Dromore, followed by burial in the adjoining cemetery. Around 300 mourners came to pay their respects, including many of her hospital colleagues.

Speaking afterwards, her son Martin Johnston told the Belfast Telegraph: "You couldn't have asked for a better goodbye.

"She was just such a genuine, active and enthusiastic person who had a love of life and helping other people.

"There were patients she treated who turned up at the house, who had recognised her photograph in the news. Some of them were very poorly, but mum would have taken time with people.

"It wasn't just a job for her, she had an interest in people and how they were and would have done a wee bit extra for them."

He said the sudden nature of his mother's death had been devastating for the family.

"The circumstances are very difficult. It wasn't just a case of: 'Your mummy has had a bit of a turn, could you get yourself down to the hospital' where you at least have the drive down to prepare yourself," he said.

"Having the police arrive at the door and telling you that she's gone is difficult, it makes an awful situation far worse."

Mr Johnston said news reports which claimed three passengers had been in the car with Mrs Wing had added to the distress.

"My brother works in Malaysia and he assumed that meant my three daughters were with her at the time," he explained. He added that the funeral service had been especially difficult for his three daughters Eve (16), Imogen (13) and Evangeline (10),

"She was amazing with them and it's hit them very hard today, they've taken a back seat but today in their minds it was getting very final.

"Evangeline was very badly affected today, but it's not the sort of thing you would keep them away from at that age.

"They made flower arrangements for her, one each. That gave them something to do over the last couple of days."

He recalled his mother and daughters enjoying days away together.

"They would often be away with their granny, it could have been anywhere. Up in Newcastle at a show, or she would have taken them to a park. You wouldn't see them all till dark," he said.

"She'll be missed, she wasn't a wee granny you went and visited.

"She was the active one that came and got you and took you out and had things organised. She didn't act like someone who was 65 years of age."

He continued: "She'll also be very badly missed by her husband Malcolm, he is devastated.

"They've been together 38 years and she has worked in the health system for 20 years either in the care homes or the hospital.

"She loved her work, I don't know what that woman would have done in retirement, she would have taken on something else and never stopped.

"She didn't act her age by any stretch of the imagination, she was very active.

"Even her relaxation was out walking for miles around the countryside, she loved the outdoors."

Last week a spokesperson for Rooney Coaches expressed the firm's condolences.

"Our sincere thoughts are with the family of the lady involved. We are also thinking of the driver and passengers of our coach. Thanks to everyone who have sent messages of support. Our thoughts are again with the family and friends of the deceased."

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