herald

Saturday 23 September 2017

Three generations of the same family die in horror crash after missing bus

Gardai at the scene of the crash. Photo: Mark Condren
Gardai at the scene of the crash. Photo: Mark Condren
Maryanne Wilson (left) and her daughter Marcella were killed, along with Marcella’s son Sean
Marcella’s son Sean

These are the three members of the same family who were killed in a horror crash on a day of carnage on our roads.

Mother-of-four Marcella Wilson, who was in her 40s, her son Sean (7) and her mother Maryanne Wilson, believed to be in her 70s, were among five people who died in traffic accidents yesterday.

The crash happened when the Citroen car they were travelling in collided with a truck near Claremorris, Co Mayo.

The accident took place on the N17 shortly before 1pm. All three members of the family were pronounced dead at the scene.

It is understood that Marcella was travelling to Claremorris with her mother to catch a bus to Galway.

They had missed the bus in Castlebar and were travelling to Galway for Maryanne's hospital appointment.

Devastated

Yesterday's tragedy came as two American tourists lost their lives in a separate road accident when their hired car was in collision with a lorry near Blarney, Co Cork.

Marcella moved to Cuan Oisri, in Belmullet, Co Mayo, about four years ago to raise her four children, according to her friend and neighbour Teresa Whelan.

She grew up in the nearby townland of Binghamstown.

"She was such a nice person, a really good person and a great mother," Ms Whelan told the Herald last night.

"As you can imagine, we are devastated. It's a huge blow.

"It's a small place and we are all just numb. We are all coming together now."

Marcella's brother, Noel, and sister, Antoinette, were on their way from the UK last night to formally identify the bodies.

They will also console their surviving nieces and nephews, Amy (16), Kelly (14) and Anthony (8).

"The children are absolutely devastated, but it hasn't really sunk in yet," Ms Whelan said.

The wider community is also rallying behind the family, she added.

"This is a great community and we have no doubt it will come together," she said.

Local parish priest Fr Michael Reilly, of the Church of the Sacred Heart in Belmullet, said Kelly used to help out during Mass.

"I know the kids, they're all very nice," he said. "I'm shocked myself. It's three generations hit. I just can't get my head around it."

The accident happened about a mile from Claremorris and the Ballindine Road junction.

The driver of the truck was not injured but is understood to be badly shaken.

Belmullet was in mourning last night as shocked locals tried to come to terms with the loss.

One man said he could not put into words how "well-respected and kind" the Wilson family were.

"Marcella came from such a well-rounded family and was the type of woman who would do anything for anyone," he said.

Terrible

"It's just so sad that this had to happen and the whole town is devastated," he said.

"The little boy was only in school yesterday and it was just a normal day for him, like any other.

"My son is in his class and it was through him that I found out what happened.

"It's going to be a long time until we get over this."

An acquaintance of Marcella said: "What can you say at a terrible time like this? They were just the nicest people in the world and I'm just numb with shock."

Local councillor Tom Connolly said there was "total shock" at the loss of life.

"There have been a number of serious accidents at the crash site over the years," he added.

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