Relatives arrange to bring home four Wexford crash victims
Grieving relatives of the Alexander family will finalise details today for the repatriation to the US of the remains of the four people killed in a horror road crash in Co Wexford.
A memorial service is expected to be held in Ireland before the remains are repatriated.
Tyrone-born Doug Alexander, his wife Lily, both aged 75, and their two sons Steven (49) and Doug Jnr (52) died when their hired car was in collision with an articulated lorry a few kilometres from New Ross on Monday evening.
They were travelling from Shannon Airport to the wake of Lily's sister Winnie at her home in Lacken, New Ross, when the crash happened. Lily and Winnie were originally from Patrickswell, Co Limerick.
The Alexanders lived in Oaklawn, Chicago. Building contractor Doug Snr, a well-known musician, was born and raised in Sion Mills in Co Tyrone. Their children were all born in America, but lived in Ireland sporadically over the years.
People in Doug's home village of Sion Mills, where his brother and other family members still live, were in "total shock" yesterday as they came to terms with the loss.
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Doug Snr's nephew Billy Cochrane, who lives in Co Donegal, said the family were "the nicest, most friendly people you could ever meet" and that his cousin Debbie, the only surviving member of the Alexander family, was devastated.
"They were very close. We are totally devastated. We just can't accept it at the minute. It just doesn't seem real.
"My uncle and aunt have a daughter Debbie who lives in America. She is the only one left now, God bless her.
"You can lose a family member, you will grieve, but when four are lost, it's different. It's hard to take in," he said.
He said Doug Snr and his wife Lily are to be cremated in Ireland and their ashes flown back to America alongside the bodies of their sons after a memorial service in Co Wexford next week.
Steve, a police officer, and Doug Jnr, had two young daughters each back home near Chicago, he said.