Staff from the pharmacy where tragic Derry mum Siobhan Hutcheon worked have described their devastation at losing their “warm and bubbly” colleague and friend.
Numerous floral bouquets, Mass and sympathy cards have been left at Lloyds Pharmacy on the Strand Road over the past 24 hours.
Siobhan had worked at the pharmacy since she was a teenager, when it was O’Donnell’s Chemist.
Her colleagues yesterday described their heartbreak as they tried to come to terms with losing one of their own.
They have set out a tributes table with some of the flowers and cards brought in by customers, arranged beside photographs of Siobhan.
In the centre sits an empty mug with her name on it. A former colleague had bought all the staff similar mugs before leaving last year.
Lloyds Pharmacy Manager Stephen McEldowney said everybody was devastated by Siobhan’s death.
“We are still in total and absolute shock. She left here on Friday evening full of the joys of life. She was just saying to everybody goodbye and wishing everyone ‘have a great weekend’.
“You could not have met a warmer or more friendlier person. She had a great attitude to life and work.
“People have work colleagues but we are a step above that here. We are all so close here and we are friends outside of work. There is that real bond and everybody bounces off each other.
“Siobhan was warm, bubbly, she loved life and got on well with all staff and customers. She was the person who had worked here the longest and everybody knew her by her first name.
“She was so well known generally and had such a big circle of friends.
“She always had a smile on her face. No matter how busy we were she always made time for customers. You couldn’t meet a better person.”
Siobhan Hutcheon (nee Coyle) was killed and her three sons injured in a collision with a Bus Eireann coach outside Newtoncunningham on the main Derry to Letterkenny Road at 3.30pm on Saturday.
The 38-year-old Derry woman had been taking her children away to their holiday caravan in Donegal for the bank holiday weekend.
One of her sons has today recovering from surgery at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast, while the other two are being treated in Altnagelvin. All three have been described as being in a stable condition.
Their father Warren has been dividing his time between the two hospitals, while also having to come to terms with losing his wife.
Colleagues of Siobhan said the couple had bought a caravan in Donegal for their boys last year.
They said the outpouring of support for the family and for everyone close to Siobhan had been very touching.
“The local community has been unreal in the support they are expressing,” Mr McEldowney said. “There have been messages of support, phone calls, people offering to do whatever they can to help, and we really want to thank everybody for their kind words and support.
“All our thoughts here are with Warren, the children and the rest of Siobhan’s family at this time.”
Siobhan’s funeral procession will leave her home at Ardmore Manor in Muff tomorrow (Thursday) at 10.20am for Requiem Mass at the Sacred Heart Church at 11am.
Internment will take place afterwards at the City Cemetery in Derry.