Racing driver crash victim ‘will be missed beyond words’

Scott McNeill whose funeral will take place in Dromara on Sunday
Scott McNeill whose funeral will take place in Dromara on Sunday

A Co Down father-of-one who died in a road accident near Carryduff this week will be “missed beyond words and never forgotten” his devastated family has said.

Scott McNeill, 21, died on Thursday following an accident on the Ballynahinch Road in the Carryduff area on Wednesday night.

Police said a number of people were injured in the serious two-vehicle collision between the Drumalig Road and Carr Road, shortly after 9pm.

His devastated family paid tribute to their generous and humorous son, who was an accomplished racing driver and mechanic.

Survived by his beloved two-year-old son Sam, Scott’s father and mother, David and Patricia, and brother and sister, Andrew and Jemma, said they were “devastated at the sudden loss of their larger-than-life son and brother who will be missed beyond words”.

They added: “He will never be forgotten by them or by the hundreds of people he has touched in his family life, or in his beloved auto-grass [racing] and car family, in his short life.”

In a written tribute for the News Letter, they said his most laudable qualities as a person were “his ability to talk to anyone and put a smile on their face – and his heart for helping others”.

“Without a doubt he would go out of his way to help you if you needed help or your car needed fixed.”

They will treasure forever, they said, memories of Scott’s “charming nature”, his knack for making people laugh with his fantastic sense of honour and his outgoing and spontaneous personality, which saw him make friends wherever he went.

The most important thing in his life was his son Sam, they said.

“In both his looks and personality it was clear to see Scott’s influence on him, as he wants to be a mechanic just like his dad; not yet three, he always has a toy screwdriver in his hand.

“In his auto grass racing achievements, Scott was a junior champion at Down Auto grass Racing Club in 2010, aged only 16; McNeill Motor Sport is a very well-known family within the Auto grass community.

“He was a dedicated, talented and determined racer and mechanic but he would miss a race if it meant fixing somebody else’s car, such was his unstinting generosity.”

Scott was “an avid car lover” as seen in his racing ability and through his involvement in the NI Cruise Scene.

“He lived and breathed anything car-related and was often seen with his legs sticking out from under many a car. He had an uncanny ability to get stuck in without hesitation, and as a result a familiar trait was his hardy hands, mainly covered in oil and grease.“

Outside of motor-racing, Scott was a member of 1st Spa Boys Brigade where he achieved the coveted President’s Badge through his dedication and service, they noted. He also achieved an NVQ level 2 in Vehicle Maintenance and Repair.

His family went on record to thank the emergency services who attended the scene of his accident. They also thanked the Royal Victoria Hospital staff “who tirelessly tried to save his life, for everything that they did for him in the Accident and Emergency ward, the operating theatre and in the intensive care unit”.

“He will be missed massively by his family and friends from so many different walks of his short but jam-packed life.”

His funeral will take place on Sunday in Magherahamlet Presbyterian Church, with a short service at 125 Dundrum Road Dromara BT25 2JS beforehand, at 2.30 pm.

Police are continuing to appeal for witnesses to the accident at Lisburn Police Station or the Collision Investigation Unit in Sprucefield, on the non-emergency number 101.