Tragic teenager Lesley-Ann McCarragher had a “bubbly personality, beautiful smile and hearty laugh” her funeral service heard yesterday.
In his sermon Rev Tony Davidson described Lesley-Ann as a “unique person” of whom her parents James and Liz were justly proud.
The 19-year-old died in hospital after being struck in a hit-and-run incident while out running on the Monaghan Road, Armagh, at the weekend.
She was airlifted to hospital on Saturday but died of her injuries the next day.
A 17-year-old male has been charged with causing her death.
Opening his address at First Presbyterian church, Armagh, Rev Davidson said: “About 12 noon on Saturday Lesley-Ann McCarragher slipped on her running gear.
“She stepped out of the house and she ran. It was reported that she was jogging. For the record, Lesley-Ann did not jog. Lesley-Ann did power running.
“She ran fast with music in her ears, a smile on her face, elegance in her stride, and joy on her heart. Her legs pumped, her arms flailed, her pony tail bobbed.”
Rev Davidson told mourners how Lesley-Ann’s life had been “tragically cut short” on Saturday afternoon.
“In one second everything changed,” he said.
“Lesley-Ann was in the wrong place at the wrong time. The family would like to thank all who helped at the scene, as well as the emergency services, doctors, and nurses who cared for her both at the scene and in the hospital.
“Thank you to neighbours and friends who have been supportive and helpful, especially those who have helped out on the Murray and McCarragher farms over the last few days.
“In the midst of tragedy we have seen the very best of human nature.
“What happened proves to us how fragile life is; how plans do not always work out; how tragically fallen the world is.
“Lesley-Ann’s tragic death urges us all to participate in the most important run in life, to run with Jesus.”
The Co Armagh cleric told mourners how six years ago Lesley-Ann’s uncle Fred had become very ill and the family “sitting room was transformed into his bedroom”.
“I remember visiting during the 2010 World Cup,” he said.
“Fred and Lesley-Ann were perched in front of the television, sharing a common interest in soccer and peanuts.
“She was the daughter in the family who did not mind donning the welly boots and giving James a hand with milking the cows.
“She was not afraid to get her hands dirty.
“Mind you, Lesley-Anne was also the daughter who most dominated the bathroom taking longest to prepare herself for a night out.
“She was an expert on all things fashionable, enjoying her shopping trips for high-heeled shoes and clothes.”
Paying further tribute to the teenager, Rev Davidson said: “Lesley-Ann was good fun and good natured. Her faith in God was worked out through looking for opportunities to be thoughtful, kind and generous. Her achievements were masked by her modesty.”
Earlier, John Murray – Lesley-Ann’s uncle – said his niece was “a friend to all, and everyone who met her loved her”.
“Lesley-Ann had a very distinctive smile and a very distinctive laugh and these huge brown eyes that really made her the brown-eyed girl,” he said.
The teenager was buried after the 1.30pm funeral service in Aghavilly Parish churchyard.
She will be sorely missed by her parents James and Elizabeth, her sisters Judith, 21, and 15-year-old twins Amy and Beth, and her wider family circle.