Belfast Telegraph

Funeral held for crash victim Stephen McElwee who died week after accident

By Allan Preston

Hundreds gathered in Co Tyrone yesterday for the funeral of road crash victim Stephen McElwee.

The 30-year-old died in Altnagelvin Hospital on Thursday after being injured in a two-vehicle smash near his home in Sion Mills on October 26.

A friend of Mr McElwee, Sean McGaughey, was seriously injured in the accident and had to be cut out of the vehicle by the emergency services.

The other car involved was driven by a man in his 60s.

Fr Thomas Canning, parish priest of St Theresa's Church in Sion Mills, conducted yesterday's Requiem Mass.

He said that during the service he told people "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".

Mr McElwee was father to two young children, son Bentley-Mason and daughter Paityn.

"The church was packed out to capacity," Fr Canning added.

"It's been very tough for his family, including his parents, two brothers and a lot of cousins."

Friends of Mr McElwee from NI-Vaux, a car enthusiasts' club he was part of, formed a guard of honour for him outside the church.

On Saturday one of the club members issued an appeal for parts to help finish a vehicle Mr McElwee had been restoring.

Posting on the group's Facebook page, he said: "I've decided that the Corsa Stephen had as a project, I'm going to finish it for him and leave it for his young fella.

"So I need a few parts gathered up, preferably as cheap as possible, as I haven't a pile to spend here."

Last week he broke the news of the death of "my best friend" to fellow club members.

Since the tragedy, other tributes have flooded in on social media for the popular young Tyrone man.

Chloe McGrinder commented on Facebook: "It's actually so hard to be saying goodbye to one of your friends.

"He was an amazing and funny person and such a great father to his two kids."

She continued: "You were well known and everyone always had something good to say about you."

Ryan Stevenson added: "Rest In Peace Stephen McElwee.

"A young man that I never seen without a smile on his face, taken well before his time. Thoughts are with his entire family."

Belfast Telegraph

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