THE father of a teenage boy knocked down and killed while walking home had phoned him to check everything was okay just minutes before he died, mourners heard.
David Preece, 15, had been walking single file along the Donaghcloney Road back to his home in Blackskull, Co Down, with a friend when he was hit by a car last Friday night.
His father Michael was on the scene just after the crash close to their home and tried to resuscitate his son.
Scores of friends and family attended David’s funeral at St Patrick’s Parish Church in Donaghcloney on Tuesday where the Rev Bryan Martin described him as “no average teenager”.
“David was a happy, handsome, wee lad who from an early age loved his gadgets – iPods, iPads, computers, you name it, he worked it,” said the Rev Martin.
“From an early age through Maghaberry Primary School, then Lurgan Junior High and latterly Craigavon Senior High, David loved IT – Information Technology for the technophobes.
“He loved computers and would often help adults when their computers went on the fritz. He even was asked by his teachers to help to teach and explain some aspects of computing to the junior classes of his school.
“But David was no average teenager. He was dreadfully protective of his twin sister Aimee, he adored her and she him – how many teenage brothers would make their sister breakfast in bed and bring in her tea just the way she liked it?”
The Rev Martin then revealed the teenager had ambitions to become a pilot.
“There was a softer side to David, one that appreciated creation. He loved Aimee’s dog Harvey and it was fitting that Harvey was able to say goodbye to David at the funeral home. He loved wildfowl and especially loved to watch the ducks as they swam on the Lagan or flew overhead.
“Maybe it was his love of birds that led to another hope and passion in his life, flying. David had already applied to Belfast International Airport to help with air traffic control – they had told him to work hard at his education,
“David had hoped that would have helped with his passion to be a pilot, first as a fighter pilot and then as a commercial pilot. He had big plans, and if his entrepreneurial skills were anything to go by, I say he would have made it.
“It seems so cruel that those boyhood dreams – that that boy has been stolen from us in a tragic accident.
“Walking home from the shop on Friday night, David and his friend were making their way back to Blackskull, walking single file up the Donaghcloney Road. His dad had called him and checked if he was okay – ‘I’m halfway home, see you in 10 or 15 minutes’.
“It is so hard that we are here as we come to give thanks for this wonderful brother, this wonderful son, grandson and friend.”
David was buried at Blackskull Methodist Church. He is survived by his father Michael, mother Dianne, twin sister Aimee as well as Michael’s partner Helen and his grandparents Hugh and Gwen.