Belfast Telegraph

Crash victim Marcella Wilson who died with mum and son was recovering from cancer

By Ian Begley

A woman who died in a fatal road traffic accident with her seven-year-old son and elderly mother in the Republic was recovering from cancer.

The victims of the horrific accident were Marcella Wilson, who was in her 40s, her son Sean (7) and her mother Mary Ann, who was in her 70s.

It is understood Marcella was recovering from a brain tumour and was said to be "doing great" before the horrific collision.

The Wilson family, who lived in Cuan Oisri, Belmullet, are believed to have been on their way to Galway for a hospital appointment for Mary Ann when the crash happened.

They are thought to have missed the bus in Castlebar and decided to drive to Claremorris to try and catch it there.

However, during the journey the car they were travelling in collided with an articulated truck on the N17 near Claremorris at around 1pm on Monday.

Adding to the tragedy, the mum left behind three other children, Anthony (9), Kelly (14) and Amy (16).

They are staying in the nearby town of Binghamstown with their grandfather, who lost his wife Mary Ann in the crash.

Neighbour and close friend Teresa Whelan said Marcella was one of the strongest people she had ever known.

"Marcella had a tumour, but it never let her get in the way of looking after her kids. She was recovering from cancer and was happy - she loved and lived for her children. The strength of the woman was remarkable - she was an inspiration," she added.

Ms Whelan recalled how Sean, a senior infant's student at Belmullet National School, would wave goodbye to her every morning as she drove his two sisters to school. "Each morning, I would drive Kelly and Amy to school with my daughter and would always see Sean waving goodbye to us from the window. He was such a sweet little boy and a great character," she said.

Ms Whelan also told how the night before the tragedy, nine-year-old Anthony told her how much he was looking forward to the following day.

"He was with me on Sunday night and said he couldn't wait until the next day. I asked him, 'What's so good about tomorrow?' He replied, 'Well I have to go to school - I don't really like that - but I get to go to football and then to your house. It's going to be a really good day'.

"When Anthony found out about the death of his mother, grandmother and brother, he asked 'Why did it have to happen today'?

"He just couldn't process what happened. He's such a brave little guy," said Ms Whelan.

Marcella's home, which was said to be always full of activity, was silent the morning after the tragedy. Ms Whelan said it was a "heartbreaking sight".

"The house is usually full of life in the morning with the children getting ready for school. I remember asking her how on earth she manages four kids by herself. She replied, 'It's chaos Teresa, but I love it'. This morning no one was at the house, there was no activity at all… It was just so upsetting," she added.

Locals in the area are still reeling from the tragic events of March, when the Rescue 116 helicopter crashed into Blackrock Island off the coast of Co Mayo, killing all four of its crew members.

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