Gardaí investigating death of stockbroker as car bursts into flames on motorway
Cause of blaze not clear, though presence of flammable liquid suspected
The scene of a car fire on the N4 near Kinnegad on Monday afternoon in which a man died. Photograph: Martin Territt
Gardaí are trying to establish how a stockbroker was burnt to death as he was driving along a motorway in the midlands as other motorists looked on powerless to help.
The dead man, who was in his 50s, had been living in Blackrock, south Dublin. Sources said he had recently left or retired from his job.
The incident that took his life occurred on Monday at about 4pm as he was driving from Mullingar towards the capital.
Witnesses have told gardaí they saw flames and smoke coming from the boot of the Opel Zafira car the man was driving.
As the fire spread, the vehicle began to slow down before coming to a halt on the M4, some 10 miles from Mullingar on a stretch of road 1km before Kinnegad. The flames then engulfed the car, forcing other traffic to stop. By the time a fire engine arrived, the vehicle had been destroyed completely by fire.
A team of investigating gardaí is trying to establish the cause of the fire. A technical examination of the vehicle and the victims’ charred remains has indicated flammable liquid may have been present inside the car and may have acted as an accelerant to a naked flame inside the rented vehicle.
Gardaí have appealed for anyone who may have witnessed the sole occupant in the dark-coloured car before the flames broke out to contact them. The vehicle is believed to have been driven in an erratic manner before the fire occurred.
Gardaí in Mullingar are also keen to speak to anybody who may have seen the vehicle on fire in the eastbound laneway.