Four young men killed in crash outside Tullamore
FOUR MEN in their 20s, three of them believed to be brothers, were killed when their car and a minibus collided near Tullamore, Co Offaly, yesterday evening. Three people travelling in the minibus were injured.
The collision happened on the R420, Tullamore to Geashill road, at about 5.30pm.
The four men who died were from Portarlington. According to local sources, three of the men were brothers and the other man was a friend who has a partner and young child in the town.
The four were pronounced dead at the scene. Three passengers in the minibus were taken to the Midland Regional Hospital in Tullamore with injuries described as not life threatening.
Inspector Kieran Keyes said, at the scene, that it had been a “horrific collision” involving a Honda Civic car and a Mercedes minibus.
He stressed that investigations were at an early stage. He said it appeared that the men in the car were travelling in the Portarlington direction and were overtaking a vehicle at the time of the accident.
“We have a certain amount of names but we are not sure of the identities as yet and we will not be releasing any names until we are 100 per cent sure,” he said.
The R420 Tullamore to Geashill road, known locally as the Portarlington road, had its speed limit increased from 80kmph to 100kmph in recent years. The crash happened on a straight section of road.
There were harrowing scenes when a car with two women and a man arrived at the scene yesterday evening.
The two women spoke to a Garda at a checkpoint before collapsing in tears. The family members followed an ambulance from the scene a few minutes later.
Gardaí erected tents at the scene where fire service and ambulance crews maintained a presence last night.
The road is not expected to reopen to traffic until this morning after Garda forensic collision investigators complete an investigation.
Gardaí are asking witnesses to contact Tullamore Garda station on 057-9327600, the Garda confidential line on 1800 666 111 or any Garda station.
The Tullamore fatalities have brought the number of people killed on roads in the Republic this year to 114.
Last year, 186 people died on the roads, the lowest total in 50 years. The number of road deaths in 2012 has remained at broadly the same level as in 2011.
There were two other deaths on Irish roads this week. Early on Tuesday a man in his 70s was killed in a single-car crash at Fintown, Co Donegal.
On Wednesday a boy died after being struck by a trailer near his family’s farm at Brensha, near Tipperary town.