‘Our hearts are broken’

‘Our hearts are broken’

24 June 2020

THE mother of the 18 year-old Crossgar man who died in a horrific car accident near Killyleagh has described him as “my world”.

Samuel McÇullough died in the early hours of Monday morning after a car he was travelling in collided with another car on the Coily Hill Road.

Six other young people involved in the accident — four males and two females — were taken to hospital for treatment. 

Three were taken to the Royal Victoria Hospital, Belfast, one to the Royal Victoria Hospital for Sick Children and two to the Ulster Hospital.

The condition of another young Crossgar man in the RVH was given as “stable” last night by the Belfast Trust.

There was a major emergency response to the accident, which occurred just after midnight and involved a Peugeot 207 and a Volkswagen Polo.

Fire appliances from Downpatrick and Newcastle attended the scene with firefighters having to use specialist cutting equipment to remove three people from the wreckage.

The NI Ambulance Service 

despatched a doctor, a Hazardous Area Response Team (HART) crew, one Rapid Response Paramedic and six emergency crews to the scene.  

Police closed off the road in both directions for several hours.

Members of the McCullough family, along friends and local people, gathered in Crossgar on Monday evening to release balloons in Samuel’s memory.

A fundraising appeal has also raised nearly £10,000 to help his family with the funeral costs for the popular young man known as ‘Sam Man’.

Details of Samuel’s funeral arrangements have not been released yet.

Samuel’s mother, Pamela, said on social media: “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. Your memory will forever live on, sleep tight son”.

Samuel was one of four children and had a twin sister, Catherine. He was a student at South Eastern Regional 

College and had previously attended St Colmcille’s High School in Crossgar.

St Colmcille’s principal Seamus Hanna spoke of his teachers’ “huge shock” and fondness for their former student “who always had a smile on his face”.

He said: “While I didn’t know Samuel as I’m a recent principal, it was a really traumatic day for our senior staff, 

particularly our vice-principal, Mrs Patriona Sloan, who recalled him leaving her Christmas gifts. 

“He’s only been left us for two years and for teachers two years is a heartbeat. They talked about a boy who was generous, thoughtful, kind, respectful and one they fondly remember as a bit of a cheeky chappy with a tremendous likeability. Samuel was very popular with students and teachers alike.”

Mr Hanna said the whole school was “heartbroken” as Samuel’s family continue to have strong ties with St Colmcille’s. 

“Memories such as Samuel coming into school with fairy lights on his Christmas sweater were among the stories teachers swapped on learning of his death,” he said.

“Samuel was so bubbly and full of fun. For his teachers, while he was a young man, they remember the child he was, even to where he sat in the classroom and who his friends were. Monday was a very reflective day for the whole school. Our heartfelt condolences and support are extended to Pamela and his family.”

St Joseph’s Primary School in Crossgar, where Samuel was also a pupil offered its condolences, thoughts and prayers to his family.

Teconnaught GAC recalled Samuel as one of their popular younger players.

A club statement said: “Sammy was a member of the club from under 10s up to under 17s and on many a day, dawned the green shirt to do his parish proud. 

“He was a happy fun loving character, always with a smile on his face. His humour and laughter will be sorely missed by us all.”

Kilmore Rec FC said Samuel, who was a regular at the club’s matches at Robert Adams Park, would be “sorely missed” as a supporter and a friend. 

Club chairman Conall Bell offered the club’s condolences to the McCullough family and added: “The news of Sammy’s passing has sent shockwaves through the club and entire community. The outpouring of grief throughout the village shows what an impact this young man had on everybody throughout his tragically short life.”

Police are appealing for information and want witnesses or anyone who saw either vehicle prior to the collision to get in touch by calling 101, quoting reference 12 22/06/20.