Thursday 23 November 2017

'A fun-loving kid who made the most of his life' - dad's tribute to teen killed in crash

Steven Sunstrum (19), from the Cregagh estate, was critically injured in a car crash which happened at the junction of the Castlereagh and Upper Knockbreda roads at around 9.45pm last Wednesday.
Steven Sunstrum (19), from the Cregagh estate, was critically injured in a car crash which happened at the junction of the Castlereagh and Upper Knockbreda roads at around 9.45pm last Wednesday.

Brett Campbell

The heartbroken father of a popular teenager who died three days after a road collision in east Belfast says his much-loved son lived life to the full.

Steven Sunstrum (19), from the Cregagh estate, was critically injured in a car crash which happened at the junction of the Castlereagh and Upper Knockbreda roads at around 9.45pm last Wednesday.

Friends and family had been hoping that the Liverpool fan, who was known by the nickname Giggles, would make a full recovery. However, he succumbed to his injuries on Saturday, leaving his parents, Jacqueline and Steven, devastated.

"He was called Giggles for a reason and it summed him up perfectly," his grief-stricken dad said.

"Steven was a fun-loving kid who made the most of his life.

"He loved his friends and his family and he will be greatly missed."

Steven lost his life just hours after crowds gathered in the estate to hold a vigil on Friday night. Loved ones had lit lanterns as they prayed for the former Breda Academy pupil.

His brother William has set up a memorial Facebook page and encouraged friends to share memories of Steven. "We'd absolutely love to see more and more photos of Steven," he wrote.

Commenting alongside a poem she posted on Saturday morning, his aunt Tammy Watters wrote: "Literally so heartbroken to be posting this. Love you giggles."

Rev Adrian Green from Mount Merrion Parish Church has offered his condolences to the family.

"We are all shocked," he said. "This is a tragedy and as a church community our hearts go out to this young man's family. We will keep them in our prayers."

A Liverpool FC football scarf has been tied to a lamp post outside his parents' house in Shimna Close, but the community has rallied behind an online campaign to provide a more permanent memorial to the popular teenager.

A crowdfunding page set up by one of his friends on Saturday exceeded its £1,000 target within hours.

Steven's dad said the campaign is proof of just how popular his son was.

"He was just a funny guy and the fact that his friends want to do this just goes to show the impact he had on people," he added.

A man in his 60s injured in the crash was discharged from hospital on Thursday.

A 20-year-old man who was arrested following the collision has been released on police bail pending further enquiries.

Belfast Telegraph

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