Tragic Loughry student Lee Usher ‘would have done anything for anybody’

The Loughry College student who died following a road collision in Cookstown on Wednesday has been praised as someone who “would have done anything for anybody”.

By Mark Rainey
Thursday, 7th April 2022, 5:59 pm
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
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

Lee Usher, from the Portadown area, was walking on the Tullywiggan Road shortly before 3.45pm when he was struck by a lorry.

The 21-year-old was studying for a degree in food business management at Loughry as well as working part-time at Woods Centra store on Portadown’s Dobbin Road.

He was photographed enjoying a joke with Prince Charles and other students during a royal visit to the campus at Loughry just over two weeks ago on March 22.

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Lee Usher, 21, from Portadown, who died following a road collision near Cookstown on Wednesday.

Centra proprietor Philip Woods said the tragic news has stunned everyone in the shop into silence.

“You could hear a pin drop today. Nobody is talking – everybody is in complete shock,” he said.

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

“He was with us here for four years and to be honest, he was like one of the family.

“He came in as a young lad out of school, worked here part-time, and went on to university.”

Mr Woods said Lee still worked in the shop on a casual basis and added: “He is the first one for a laugh and a bit of craic. I couldn’t say enough good things about him.”

In a Facebook tribute, one friend from college described Lee as “a pleasure to be around, both in and out of the classroom,” and added: “Lee will be missed by many and remembered by all at Loughry Campus.

“Thoughts and prayers are with his family at this very sad time.”

Another student on social media simply described Lee as “one of Loughry’s best,” while one said: “Taken far too soon. RIP Lee, we’re all going to miss you so much”.

The fatal collision occurred close to the junction of the Tullywiggan Road with Bramble Lane, less than a mile from the college.

Martin McKendry, director of the College of Agriculture, Food and Rural Enterprise (CAFRE), his expressed sadness and sympathy to Lee’s family.

He 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. Our thoughts are with his family at this difficult time”.

As news of the tragedy spread in the media yesterday, one family friend responded to a news article saying: “Absolutely heartbreaking. My prayers are with Jill, Laurence, Ben and the whole family at this very sad time.”

Another said: My heart goes out to all his family and friends, my thoughts and prayers are with you. Such a kind young lad.”

A PSNI spokesperson said: “Our enquiries are continuing and the collision investigation unit is appealing to anyone who was in the area at the time and may have witnessed the collision, or who saw Lee or the vehicle in the area around the time of the collision, to contact police on 101 quoting reference number 1165 of 06/04/22.

“We are also keen to speak to anyone who may have dash-cam or other footage.”