Prayers for Leia and Seth as Ar­gyll mourns loss of tod­dlers

The Oban Times - - FRONT PAGE - LOUISE GLEN lglen@oban­

TRIB­UTES to brother and sis­ter tod­dlers who died af­ter the car they were trav­el­ling in left the road and en­tered the wa­ter at Loch nan Druim­nean, near Kilmelford, have been sent from across the globe.

Of­fers of fi­nan­cial sup­port to the par­ents of Seth and Leia McCor­risken – aged two and three – have topped more than £13,000 as peo­ple have been do­nat­ing to en­sure the chil­dren re­ceive a ‘ beau­ti­ful send off’.

Mes­sages of sup­port for the chil­dren’s par­ents, Hazel Lan­caster and Neil McCor­risken, who live and run their own busi­ness on the Isle of Lu­ing, have come from as far afield as Aus­tralia, Asia, Europe and across the UK.

Three days af­ter the ac­ci­dent, friend Sarah Stop­ford set up a crowd­fund­ing page on­line with the mes­sage: ‘I set up this page as a ges­ture to Neil and Hazel to show that we are all think­ing of them.

‘Do­nat­ing money is the least that we can do in an ef­fort to help them at this ter­ri­ble time.’

In only a few hours the page had dou­bled its tar­get of £ 500, with chil­dren giv­ing their pocket money and adults send­ing con­do­lences to the par­ents and fam­ily from across the globe.

Mes­sages have also been sent via The Oban Times Face­book page.

Brenda and Mick said: ‘ Our thoughts are with you and your fam­ily at this very sad time. We live in Cum­bria now but know Kilmelford and that aw­ful road from our time liv­ing in Oban.

‘God bless you and your beau­ti­ful chil­dren.’

From Aus­tralia, an anony­mous woman said: ‘Can’t imag­ine the sad­ness.’

Crowd­fund­ing donor An­gela Mur­ray said: ‘My heart is bro­ken for your loss. I am pray­ing you will get through this and be stronger than be­fore. Much love from our fam­ily to yours xx’

Kilmelford and Kil­nin­ver Com­mu­nity Coun­cil sent flow- ers and sym­pa­thy to the fam­ily.

Cards, teddy bears and flow­ers have been laid by the road­side where the in­ci­dent hap­pened last Wednes­day evening.

Is­lan­ders have ral­lied around the fam­ily of­fer­ing help and sup­port. They held a prayer ser­vice for the chil­dren and their fam­ily on Sun­day.

Coun­cil­lor Mary-Jean Devon, Ar­gyll and Bute’s chil­dren’s cham­pion, said: ‘Along with ev­ery­one else in Ar­gyll, our thoughts and prayers go out to these two par­ents on the death of their beau­ti­ful baby chil­dren.

‘No words will ever be able to ex­press how much sad­ness we feel for them.

‘In the com­ing days, months and weeks I know the com­muni- ty will gather around the fam­ily and help to sup­port them as they try to come to terms with their most dread­ful loss.

‘If there is any­thing I can do, I hope they will be in touch with me.’

Ar­gyll and Bute MSP Michael Rus­sell added his sym­pa­thy to the fam­ily, say­ing: ‘I think ev­ery­body is just com­pletely stunned. It is a hor­rific thing to have hap­pened. Noth­ing worse could be imag­ined for a fam­ily.

‘I think there’s a gen­eral sense of shock, both in the lo­cal com­mu­nity and more widely in Ar­gyll.

‘It is a bad piece of road, it’s a dif­fi­cult piece of road, and the weather was very bad.

‘I do think that peo­ple are look­ing at this and say­ing it’s a ter­ri­ble, ter­ri­ble thing to hap­pen and look­ing at the con­di­tions and won­der­ing whether they were con­tribut­ing. But we don’t know any more and I think we should ob­vi­ously wait to hear what the po­lice have to say.’

The Rev­erend Ken­neth Ross, of Lu­ing Parish Church, said: ‘The tragic ac­ci­dent at Loch nan Druim­nean that re­sulted in Leia and Seth los­ing their lives has greatly af­fected many peo­ple, not only in our im­me­di­ate area but far beyond.

‘Our hearts go out to their par­ents, wider fam­ily and friends. Leia and Seth were re­mem­bered in prayers at all the Nether­lorn churches on Sun­day July 10.’

A spokes­woman for Po­lice Scot­land said: ‘In­quiries are con­tin­u­ing to es­tab­lish the ex­act cir­cum­stances of the in­ci­dent and a re­port will be sub­mit­ted to the procu­ra­tor fis­cal.’

Any­one with in­for­ma­tion re­gard­ing this in­ci­dent is asked to con­tact the Divi­sional Road Polic­ing Unit at Camp­bel­town on 101.

A Lochgilp­head man was one of the first ‘heroes’ on the scene of the tragedy. Read his story on page three.

Tod­dlers Leia and Seth died af­ter the car they were trav­el­ling in left the road and en­tered the wa­ter at Loch nan Druim­nean, near Kilmelford, on the A816. Trib­utes to the two youn­sters have been left by the road­side. Pho­to­graph (right): Kevin McG­lynn

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