herald

Monday 25 September 2017

'Remarkable' mother killed in horror crash was a cancer survivor

Marcella and Mary Ann Wilson
Marcella and Mary Ann Wilson
Sean Wilson
Crash scene on the N17 near Claremorris

The single mum who died in a horrific road accident with her seven-year-old son and mother was recovering from cancer.

Marcella Wilson, in her 40s, her son Sean (7) and her mother Mary Ann, in her 70s, were all killed in Co Mayo on Monday afternoon.

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

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, their car collided with an articulated truck on the N17 near Claremorris at about 1pm.

Recovering

It is understood that Marcella was recovering from a brain tumour and was said to be "doing great".

Teresa Whelan, a neighbour and close friend, told the Herald that 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," said Ms Whelan.

"She was recovering from cancer and was happy out - she loved and lived for her children. The strength of the woman was remarkable, she was an inspiration."

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

They are now in nearby Binghamstown with their grandfather, whose wife was Mary Ann.

Ms Whelan recalled how Sean, a pupil 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 said that, the night before the tragedy, 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," she said.

"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'.

Brave

"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."

Marcella's home, which was usually full of activity, was vacant the morning after the tragedy and it was a "heartbreaking sight", said Ms Whelan.

"The house is usually full of life in the morning with the children getting ready for school," she said.

"I remember asking her how on earth she manages four kids by herself. She replied, 'It's chaos, 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 that the whole community is now coming together for the family.

"We live in a great community and will make sure that the family will be taken care of," said Ms Whelan.

"There have been no funeral arrangements made at the moment, but we'll do whatever we can in the mean time for them.

"I don't think many people have processed the news yet, but I know that nothing will ever be the same for us."

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