Large turnout of mourners at funeral of Lee Usher

Hundreds of people attended a “moving and very touching” funeral service in Portadown for the Loughry College student killed in a road tragedy in Co Tyrone last week.

Lee Usher at the Loughry College campus of CAFRE. Photo: CAFRE Facebook page
Lee Usher at the Loughry College campus of CAFRE. Photo: CAFRE Facebook page

Lee Usher, 21, died when he was struck by a lorry on the Tullywiggan Road in Cookstown, less than a mile from the college, shortly before 3.45pm on Wednesday.

He was studying for a degree in food business management at Loughry.

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Pastor Andrew Roycroft conducted the service at Portadown Baptist Church on Sunday (April 11).

Prince Charles shares a joke with Lee Usher and other Loughry students during a visit to the campus on March 22. Lee was struck by a lorry and killed close to Loughry on April 6. Photo: Aaron McCracken

He said: “It was a very, very large turnout. The church was filled to capacity and beyond. Lee is from a lovely family and a very gracious family.

“There was an atmosphere obviously of grief, but also an atmosphere of celebrating Lee’s life, and giving thanks for him which was lovely.

“There was an outpouring of grief, but also a sense of joy in who he was and what he represented to his family.

“It was a lovely turnout of people who came to lend support, and to show solidarity with the family too.

“I led the service and then there was a tribute brought by Lee’s brother and sister, which was very moving and very touching.”

Lee lived at Brook Road in the town and was a former pupil of Waringstown Primary and Portadown College.

He was well-known as a part-time sales assistant at the Woods Centra store on Portadown’s Dobbin Road, as well as around the Loughry campus of CAFRE.

Last week, Centra proprietor Philip Woods said the tragic news had stunned everyone in the shop into silence.

“He was the best lad. Lee would have done anything for anybody.

“He is the first one for a laugh and a bit of craic. I couldn’t say enough good things about him.”

CAFRE director Martin McKendry said: “Lee was a bright student on our food business management degree and was a popular member of CAFRE’s Loughry Campus community.

“He will be sadly missed by his fellow students and the staff at CAFRE, who are being provided with support.”

Pastor Roycroft said it can be particularly difficult for a family when a death involves someone so young.

“It’s not common I’m glad to say,” he said.

“You are keenly conscious of the deep trauma to the family, and as a pastor your main concern is to try to offer solace, comfort and help to them, and you are very conscious when it is someone so young you do feel that very deeply.”

The PSNI has asked anyone who saw Lee or the lorry in the area around the time of the collision, or who has any relevant dash-cam footage, to contact police on 101 quoting reference 1165 of 06/04/22.

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Portadown man Lee Usher killed in Cookstown traffic collision