The family of two grandparents tragically killed on holiday in America say they have been inundated with messages of sympathy.
As reported in The Gazette last week, Ted and Brenda McElory died instantly after being hit by a pick-up truck while crossing a five lane freeway shortly after arriving in the town of Barboursville, West Virginia.
Their bodies are set to be repatriated next week and their daughter Gillian has flown back from the USA after collecting their belongings.
Brenda’s sister Eileen Dobson, 66, from Sandhills Avenue, South Shore, said: “I can’t believe the amount of contact we’ve had.
“People have been telling us how shocked they are and what a really nice couple they were.
“Nobody can believe it’s happened.”
Mr and Mrs McElroy, aged 76 and 70, had been planning their trip for the last six months and flew out last Monday.
The crash happened just after they arrived at their hotel the following day. It is believed they were crossing the road to get to a restaurant which had been recommended to them.
The McElroy’s family were not informed until the following day.
Following the crash witnesses reported a nurse attempted to give first aid to the couple, but it was too late.
Eric Fossell, from West Virginia based news channel WSAZ TV 3, which initially covered the tragedy, said: “I can speak for our entire staff that night to say we were heartbroken by what happened.
“We’d like to extend our condolences to the family.”
The couple, who lived in Glencross Place, South Shore, are survived by daughter Gillian, 49, and son Steven, 42 – as well as grandchildren Natasha, Chloe and Lewis.
During their working lives Mrs McElroy worked on the customer service desk at Morrisons, off Squires Gate Lane, and the nearby Dunelm Mill store before her retirement.
Mr McElroy worked across the world as a loss adjuster in locations as diverse as London, Nigeria and Canada.
They were involved with The Windmill Players amateur dramatics group, in Thornton, and also played bowls at Watson Road park.
Mr McElroy was also a well-known model railway enthusiast.
Arrangements for their funerals have yet to be announced.