Friends rally to support family of girl (3) who died when hit by bus

Fundraising campaign set up for ‘devastated’ Ukrainian family living in Carrick-on-Suir

Sophia Melnychuk (3), who was killed in the incident pictured with her parents and brothers Andre, Maria, Maxsum and Denis. Photograph: gofundme

Sophia Melnychuk (3), who was killed in the incident pictured with her parents and brothers Andre, Maria, Maxsum and Denis. Photograph: gofundme

 

The Ukrainian family of the three year old girl who died on Tuesday after she was struck by a bus in a housing estate in Carrick-on-Suir were “very much part of the community and much liked by all who know them”, said local priest Fr Tom Flynn.

A gofundme page has been set up by friends of the family of Sophia Melnychuk to offer support to her parents and siblings.

Tragedy struck the family shortly after 4pm on Tuesday when the young girl died after she was struck by a bus at Castle Heights located on the Portlaw road out of the Co Tipperary town. The male bus driver was treated by emergency services at scene.

On Tuesday Superintendent Willie Leahy from Clonmel Garda station passed on his condolences to the family and all involved in the tragedy.

“We have carried out house to house enquiries in the estate but I am conscious that it is a big estate and a lot of people could have been frequenting that estate that are not from that area and I would appeal to them that if we have not met them and if they were in the Castle Heights area on Tuesday between 4pm and 4.30pm to make contact with us here at Clonmel Garda Station,” he said.

Fr Flynn said a “shocking tragedy” had befallen the family, and the community would do everything they possibly could to support the family.

“They are a family that are very much part of the community, a very well liked family and anybody that knows them speaks very highly of them,” said Fr Flynn.

County Councillor David Dunne said he had been in the family home the day before the accident helping the mother of the child on council matters.

“The family are heartbroken and the community is devastated for them. Her parents are both from Ukraine and the girl had two older brothers. The family are living in Carrick for a good few years. They are part of a sizeable and hard-working eastern European community in the town. The little girl herself would have been born in South Tipperary General Hospital in Clonmel,” said Cllr Dunne.

Friends of the family set up the gofundme page to support the family financially to help with Sophia’s funeral and other costs.

“On Tuesday the 13th of April our family friends Andre, Maria, Maxsum and Denis lost their beautiful little daughter and sister Sophia Melnychuk who was only 3 years old in a tragic accident. I live in Carrick on Suir my who life and have never seen such despair or been apart of such heartbreak for a family, they are devastated and cannot believe there little girl Sophia is gone forever,” the fundraising organiser writes on the page.

“This tragedy has shocked the town and all the people of Carrick on Suir and I hope all of you reading this will want to help and support this beautiful family through this heartbreak time.”

Gardaí,who were awaiting preliminary post mortem results on Tuesday evening, are appealing for any witnesses or for anyone with information in relation to the incident to come forward. They are also appealing for any road users who may have camera footage (including dash-cam) who were in the housing estate at the time of the collision, to make this footage available to gardaí.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Clonmel Garda Station on 052 6177640, the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111, or any Garda Station.