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Our hearts are broken: Mum's tribute to teen Samuel McCullough (18) killed in Killyleagh crash

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Samuel McCullough

Samuel McCullough

Samuel McCullough

The mother of a Co Down teenager who died in a two-vehicle crash has paid tribute to her "beautiful son".

Samuel McCullough (18), from Crossgar, was involved in a crash on the Coily Hill Road in Killyleagh in the early hours of yesterday.

Police said the former pupil of St Colmcille's High School was a passenger in a Peugeot 207 which collided with a Volkswagen Polo just after midnight.

A spokesperson for the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service said one doctor, one Hazardous Area Response Team (HART), a rapid response paramedic and six emergency crews were dispatched to the scene.

After initial treatment, three patients were taken to the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast, one to the Royal Victoria Hospital for Sick Children and two to the Ulster Hospital.

A spokesperson for the South Eastern Trust said the two patients at the Ulster were treated and discharged. No further details were available from the Belfast Trust.

Posting a tribute on her Facebook page, Pamela McCullough wrote: "Can't believe I'm having to write this, my beautiful son Samuel tragically passed away in the early hours this morning. Our hearts are absolutely broken, we'll love and miss you always and your memory will forever live on, sleep tight son."

Hundreds of family friends soon passed on their condolences to the family, and friends started a fundraising page to pay for funeral costs which had raised over £4,000 by yesterday afternoon.

Family friend Marian McMullan, who started the appeal, said: "It's with a heavy heart I'm writing this. Our wee village has been devastated by the sudden passing of an incredible young man," she said.

"We have set up this page to help raise money to give Sam Man the send off he deserves. What a wee gentleman he was. Please give as little or as much as you can."

Another friend added: "I cannot believe that such a young man has been taken so soon from his loving family."

SDLP councillor Terry Andrews visited the family yesterday and thanked the local community for their support. "I've known the family for many years and Sam since he was young. He has another brother and two sisters and he was a very cheerful, bright and bubbly young man who would never have passed you without saying hello.

"Words just cannot describe the sadness and heartbreak his family are going through now. As I understand, he had been studying at the local tech in Downpatrick."

DUP councillor Kathryn Owen said: "I have a son around the same age and I can't begin to imagine what his mother is going through. My heart is broken for his family."

Earlier, Alliance councillor Patrick Brown said he was "horrified" by the tragic news.

"My thoughts are with the loved ones of the deceased and those injured in the crash. I hope they make a full recovery from this incident, which has led to yet another young person losing their life on our roads," he said.

The police appealed for witnesses who saw either vehicle prior to the collision to call 101, quoting reference 12 for June 22.

Belfast Telegraph