Two men die in Carlow road accident

 

Almost 45 per cent of Irish road deaths this year have involved people under 30 years old, it has emerged, writes Daniel McConnell.

The official Garda statistic was released following the latest fatal road accident in which two men died in Co Carlow yesterday morning.

Three other young people were injured in the collision when a car hit a tree. The crash happened at about 1 a.m. on Main Street in Clonegal village.

The dead men were named yesterday as Daniel Hunt (29) and Thomas McDonald (16), both from Tullow, Co Carlow. They were pronounced dead at the scene.

The five men were travelling in a 1990 Honda Civic believed to have been bought just days before the accident.

Local gardaí said the car was a "complete write-off".

It was confirmed last night that Mr Hunt was the driver and Mr McDonald a back seat passenger.

The three injured men, all believed to be in their teens, were taken to hospital in Wexford where their conditions are described as stable.

Fire crews from Tullow and ambulances from Carlow and Wexford attended the scene.

The latest fatalities bring to 221 the number of deaths on Irish roads so far this year.

Of those, 99 have been under 30 years old, the Garda press office said yesterday.

The Minister for Transport, Mr Brennan, said yesterday that the recent spate of accidents during certain hours of the night appeared to have involved a high number of young males.

"We must examine the apparent links as to why so many young males are losing their lives so late at night," he told The Irish Times.

Mr Brennan said he expected the report on whether or not toxicology studies should be conducted on victims killed in accidents to be returned to him within the next month.

The Medical Bureau of Road Safety and Forensic Medicine, based in University College, Dublin is compiling the report at the Minister's request.

Fine Gael's spokesman on transport, Mr Denis Naughten, accused Mr Brennan of not having a clue how to deal with the number of deaths on Irish roads.

"Ireland is the only country in Europe where detailed statistics on road deaths are not available. It is hypocritical in the extreme that we have no proper statistics on what role alcohol or drugs play in road accidents," he added.

Mr Naughten said that if Ireland followed current European figures, alcohol would have been a factor in up to 40 per cent of all fatal road accidents.

"There needs to be a complete rethink on how people are tested. If we had more stringent testing procedures, we would see a reduction in the numbers of deaths," said Mr Naughten.

Th tragedy comes only two weeks after three teenagers were killed in a single car accident in Buncrana, Co Donegal.

The sole survivor of the car in the Donegal crash was the only one who was wearing a seat-belt when the vehicle struck a bridge and plunged 10 feet into a field.

Those who died were Shane Cuffe (18), Crana View, Buncrana, who was the driver of the silver Vauxhall Astra car, Owen Doherty (18), Cloncool Park, Buncrana and Aine O'Leary, (16), Selskor Rise, Townpark, Skerries, Co Dublin.

Such was the force of the collision that the parapet wall partially collapsed and the car disintegrated on impact, scattering parts over a 400sq metre area.