Thousands raised in memory of tragic Jackson

Jackson pictured during a PAKT Christmas cookery class.  INCT 01-727-CON
Jackson pictured during a PAKT Christmas cookery class. INCT 01-727-CON
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Thousands of pounds have been raised in memory of a Carrickfergus schoolboy who died over the Christmas break.

Sunnylands Primary School pupil Jackson Turner (7) passed away following a road traffic collision on the Old Carrick Road in Newtownabbey on Boxing Day evening.

Jackson was one of the liveliest wee boys I’ve ever known. He always had a glow about him.

Maurice Shearer

Jackson’s grandmother, Margaret Saunders, was driving the car that he was travelling in.

She remains in a critical condition in hospital.

Jackson’s four-year-old sister Ally, who was also in the car, has since been discharged from hospital.

A memorial webpage established to raise funds in support of the Turner and Saunders families has since raised almost £7000.

The donations are to go towards funeral expenses, including a memorial headstone, according to Carrick woman Alice Hodge, who set up the page.

Gareth Hamilton, the principal of Sunnylands Primary School, said Jackson was “a real character”.

“If there was something going on, he wanted to be part of it,” he added.

Mr Hamilton said that counselling will be made available to pupils at Sunnylands and indicated that a special assembly will be held when the school reconvenes in January.

Jackson was well-known within the Glenfield and Castlemara Parents and Kids Together (PAKT) group, where he had only recently taken part in Christmas cookery classes and a cinema trip.

“Jackson was one of the liveliest wee boys I’ve ever known. He always had a glow about him,” said Maurice Shearer from PAKT.

“He wanted to be involved with all of our programmes and just loved being around other people.

“It’s just devastating that this has happened.”

Alderman May Beattie, chair of the Board of Governors at Sunnylands Primary, expressed on her condolences to everyone who has been affected by the tragedy.

“Jackson’s death has put a cloud over the whole area. I know his mum Lynsey well and she really is beside herself,” she said. “I was there to see Jackson taking part in the Nativity play last week, and it is so sad to think that this has now happened.

“I want to pass on my condolences to the Turner and Saunders families. My thoughts and prayers are with the other people who were also involved in the collision, and I hope that everyone makes a full recovery,” the DUP representative said.

A service for Jackson is due to be held at Irvine’s Funeral Director’s, Carrickfergus on Saturday at 12pm.