Family pay tribute to Siobhan Hutcheon

Siobhan Hutcheon.
Siobhan Hutcheon.

The heartbroken family of Siobhan Hutcheon who was tragically killed in a car accident last month have spoken for the first time of their grief.

The Derry woman’s two sisters Fiona and Claire say the pain of losing Siobhan is “unreal” but they will ensure that her boys know what a fantastic mother they had.

Mother of three Siobhan Hutcheon (38), who lived in Muff was killed on May 3rd when the car she was driving was involved in a crash with a bus on the Letterkenny Road.

Her three boys Callum, Jake and Ben who were all in the car at the time, survived. One of the boys is still recovering from his injuries and as yet has been unable to return to school.

The family have made an appeal for anyone who was on Siobhan’s side of the road at the time of the accident and who may have seen anything to come forward and report it to the Gardai.

They have also revealed how a nurse who tended to Siobhan at the scene of the accident penned an emotional letter to the family explaining how she knew Siobhan had not suffered, adding that she felt Siobhan’s presence in the car after her death tending to her three children before the paramedics arrived at the scene.

Last week Siobhan’s sisters came together with a group of her best friends Joanne, Nicola, Debbie and Leigh to share their memories of a woman they described as a “loving daughter, wonderful wife, loyal sister, true friend and devoted mother.”

The women now plan to run the Half Marathon in September in memory of Siobhan.

“Our Siobhan was so young and loved, everyone knew her,” said her younger sister Claire.

“We want her boys in years to come to read this story and know what we thought of her. We want to make a book full of stories about what she was like not just as a mammy, but as a sister and friend.

“We called her ‘Bootcamp Siobhan.’ There isn’t a gym or a bootcamp in this town that Siobhan hasn’t been to. We thought the Half Marathon would be a good way to remember her.”

“Our Siobhan was the middle child of our family in every sense of the word,” smiled her sister Fiona.

“There’s me, Kevin (the quiet man), Siobhan and Claire.”

“Siobhan had our dad Patrick and mum Barbara wrapped around her wee finger,” she said.

“She was devoted to her three boys, and to her husband Warren who she called ‘my Warren.’

“Callum is 13 and she called Jake (8) and Ben (7) her ‘two wee buses’ because they came together so soon. She would be up and down the quay wheeling them in their twin buggy.”

The family recall that as a child Siobhan was bubbly.

“Siobhan loved being in the limelight. She was our blonde haired, blue eyed girl. She even talked daddy into getting her a pony and got a farmer to allow her to keep it in his field.”

Claire recalled how Siobhan was the ultimate Brosette. “Siobhan had plans to run away with Matt Goss,” she said. “She had the ripped jeans and everything.”

“We had the only house in Derry where vodka turned into water,” said Fiona.

“My parents weren’t really drinkers but people always bought them bottles for Christmas. Siobhan would take the bottles at the weekends when she was a teenager and replace the contents with water! With Siobhan there was always a story.”

The birth of her first son Callum in 2001, was a major milestone for Siobhan. He was soon followed by two more baby boys who Siobhan doted on.

“The boys all went to football and she was their biggest fan. When Jake got picked for Derry City she was over the moon.

“During the Foyle Cup she was roaring and shouting during the match. At one point I thought we were going to be asked to leave the pitch.

“Once there was a school trip to Switzerland and even though money was tight Siobhan was determined Callum would go. But she broke her heart when he was away, fretting for him and was always waiting for his texts.

“Her husband Warren worshipped the ground Siobhan walked on and she felt the same about him.

“They went to Las Vegas last year for Warren’s birthday and had great memories.”

The family revealed that on the morning of Siobhan’s death she was on her way with the boys to Kerrykeel where they had just bought a caravan.

“She loved the caravan site,” said Fiona. “She texted us all: ‘I’m moving in.’ She was in good form because she had lost three and a half pound at bootcamp that morning.

“That weekend she wanted to make the most out of it with the boys. She would go and chill out while the boys played in the park.

“But when we got the phone call to tell us she was gone - I just felt like my heart stopped. It was the worst phonecall. I was in denial, I didn’t know what to believe. But we knew we had to pull ourselves together.

“Claire went to Belfast with Warren and Jake while he was in intensive care while I stayed here.

“We had so many friends here who stood in and helped us out during the wake and funeral.”

Her sisters and friends say they will remember Siobhan as a woman who simply: “loved the craic.”

“She was the life and soul of every party and always had time for the craic. She was already planning her 40th birthday, going to Las Vegas with her friend, Nicola,“ said Claire.

“Siobhan worked hard, and partied hard. She never worried about nonsense.

“Siobhan would make you feel that you were the most important person in the world.

But she never took sides, she was completely honest and never judged anyone.

“She was such a good friend and we are totally overwhelmed that so many people knew and loved her. I had 98 personal messages on my facebook about Siobhan, some from people I didn’t know. It was a tragic blow to us and watching the reports on TV were horrific. But after Siobhan’s death we saw the good in people, The staff at Altnagelvin and the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast were unbelieveable. The support of neighbours and friends carried us through.”

We’ll never forget her

Siobhan Hutcheon’s colleagues at Lloyds where she was training to be a pharmacy technician say the shop will never be the same without her.

“She chatted to all the customers ,” said her friend, Stephanie. “You could trust her with anything.“We had a great social life with Siobhan and we don’t know if it will ever be the same again without her.”

There are so many memories like the day she made us do a Mexican wave at the Mandarin Palace. We were like a family with Catherine, Lorraine, Paula, Stephen, Linda, Karen, Robert and Albert in the shop. She spoke about Warren and the boys all the time. People ask about her every day. But we know she is still with us.”