Gardaí are appealing for witnesses to a head-on collision between and a car and a minibus outside Tullamore yesterday evening in which four people died.
Darren Doyle (27), David Doyle (24) and their 17-year-old brother Ryan all died in the crash alongside the driver of the car, 24-year-old father-of-one Lee Bryan.
Gardaí are continuing to investigate the circumstances surrounding the incident. 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. They were pronounced dead at the scene.
Inspector Kieran Keyes said, at the scene, that it had been a “horrific collision” involving a Honda Civic car and a Mercedes minibus. Gardaí are calling on anyone who saw the maroon Honda Civic or the white mini bus between 4pm and 5.30pm to come forward. Anyone who may have spoken with the occupants of either vehicle is also asked to contact gardaí in Tullamore Garda.
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.
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.
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