Mother’s Day crash victims Grant Archer and Robert Wilkinson laid to rest

Robert Wilkinson and, below, Grant Archer.
Robert Wilkinson and, below, Grant Archer.

Hundreds of mourners yesterday attended the funerals of two young men killed in a horrific car accident on Mother’s Day.

Grant Archer, 23, from Newmills, died in the early hours of Sunday along with 28-year-old Robert Wilkinson, from Cookstown, when their car crashed on the Old Coagh Road on the outskirts of Cookstown.

Grant Archer

Grant Archer

Mourners at the funeral service for Mr Archer at Brackaville Parish Church in Coalisland heard how the Co Tyrone man had been “a good and thoughtful friend to many”.

Reverend Andrew Rawding told mourners how Mr Archer, who qualified as a mechanic at Southern College in Portadown, “loved tinkering with cars, taking engines apart, and restoring his red Vauxhall Nova”.

“Grant was passionate about motorbikes,” added Rev Rawding.

“He looked up to his dad and wanted one day to race bikes like him – he had his dad’s motorbike trophies in his room.

“He was a good and thoughtful friend to so many.

“You will all – dad and mum, sister, family and friends – have your own special and individual memories of Grant that you will treasure. Grant was at heart a very kind, reserved, deep, soft and loving person.”

Mr Archer was buried in the adjoining churchyard.

Earlier yesterday, mourners at Robert Wilkinson’s funeral heard Evangelist Brian Glendinning deliver an address.

“This was the saddest funeral I have ever had to conduct,” he said.

“I understand Robert was very good with his hands and very helpful in many ways and will be sorely missed not only at home but with others that he helped.”

The service was held in R Steenson and Son Funeral Home, with interment afterwards in Cookstown cemetery.

Police are still appealing for information about the one-vehicle road traffic collision in the early hours of March 30 on the Old Coagh Road, Cookstown, which claimed the men’s lives.

At approximately 4am police received a report that a car had crashed into a garden.

Police called on anyone with any information or who witnessed the accident to contact Cookstown Police Station on the new non-emergency number 101.