Gardaí to interview Athy crash survivor to find facts

Possibility that tyre blow-out caused car to swerve and shudder across road into van

The car that was in the crash on the N78 near Athy, Co Kildare, in which four young women lost their lives. Photograph: Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin

The car that was in the crash on the N78 near Athy, Co Kildare, in which four young women lost their lives. Photograph: Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin

 

Gardaí investigating the crash in Co Kildare that claimed the lives of four young women have not yet been able to interview the driver of the car they were travelling in.

The investigating team has ruled out dangerous driving or the possibility that an overtaking attempt went wrong. Gardaí are now focussed on seeing if a tyre blow-out caused the car to suddenly swerve.

One of the tyres on the VW Polo was punctured when examined by gardaí. Based on the evidence of a number of witnesses, gardaí believe the car the women were in was “shuddering” as it crossed the broken white line in the centre of the road.

The car collided with an oncoming VW Transporter van. The two men in the van managed to get out before it burst into flames. They are from Poland and have been living and working in Ireland. The driver was a near neighbour in Carlow of one of the dead women. He has been discharged from Naas General Hospital and has spoken to gardaí.

The collision occurred at 9.45pm on Tuesday at Burtown, Co Kildare, on the N78.

While a comprehensive examination of the crash scene has been carried out by investigators and the two vehicles have been examined, Garda sources said it still may be several days before the cause of the crash becomes clearer.

They are hopeful that when the driver of the car, Dayna Kearney, is well enough to be spoken to, the information she can provide could greatly aid the investigation.

From Carlow, she met the four victims when they all went to secondary school in St Leo’s College in the town.While they left school 18 months ago to pursue third-level courses, they had remained close friends.

The four women were Ashling Middleton (19), from Coneybro, Athy, Co Kildare; Chermaine Carroll (20), from Dolmen Heights, Pollerton, Co Carlow; Gemma Nolan (19), from Idrone Park, Tullow Road, Co Carlow and Niamh Doyle (19), from Mount Leinster Park, Co Carlow.