Belfast Telegraph

Northern Ireland crash victims' families prepare for funerals

By Cate McCurry

The funerals of two victims of our roads will take place tomorrow.

Co Tyrone man Stephen Wilkinson was knocked down and killed in Cookstown in the early hours of Sunday.

The 26-year-old died after he was hit by a Ford Focus in the town shortly before 3.30am.

The male driver of the car, also aged 26, was arrested by the police.

He was later released on bail pending further enquiries.

The funeral of the mechanic, who was from nearby Ardboe, will take place at the Church of the Blessed Sacrament in Mullinahoe at 11am, followed by burial in the adjoining cemetery.

He was described in family notices as "the dearly loved son of Sharon and Christopher and much loved brother of Ryan".

On Saturday afternoon east Belfast teenager Steven Sunstrum succumbed to his injuries in hospital following a road accident last Wednesday.

Steven's funeral will be held tomorrow at Roselawn Crematorium at 1pm.

His parents Steven and Jacqueline, brother William and partner Lauren said they would miss his "smile and giggles with every day that passes".

"We will meet again and continue the laughs," they said.

The family has asked for any donations to be made to the intensive care unit at the Royal Victoria Hospital.

Meanwhile, a third road victim, Neil Stewart, who died in a motorcycle collision outside Newry on Saturday evening, has been remembered as a "real gentleman".

The father-of-six was killed in a crash that left his wife Sandra with serious injuries.

It's the second tragedy to hit the family after his brother Howard died when the lorry he was driving was involved in a collision on the same road some years ago.

The Stewart family are well-known in the Markethill area as members of the John Hunter Accordion Band in Mountnorris, and are deeply involved in Markethill Festival and Markethill Horse and Pony Driving Club.

Each year a memorial fundraising concert is held as part of the Markethill Festival in memory of Howard.

Funeral arrangements for Neil are yet to be confirmed.

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