Two killed as car veers off mountain road and crashes into swollen stream
TWO men died in a horror accident after a car carrying four men veered off a mountain road and crashed into a swollen roadside stream.
The tragedy occurred on the Kenmare Road just outside Glengarriff village in west Cork, shortly after 5am yesterday.
It happened on a stretch of road where a mountain stream runs behind a stone wall parallel to the roadway some 2km from the village.
The stream was swollen due to recent heavy rainfall and the accident happened near one of the deepest sections of the waterway.
A passer-by spotted the car wreckage and raised the alarm. Gardaí, paramedics and Bantry Fire Brigade raced to the scene.
Two occupants of the vehicle were pronounced dead at the scene.
They were named locally as Michael Bowen (40), from Ahakista, Cork, and Tadhg Murphy (19), from Glengarriff, Cork.
Mr Murphy would have celebrated his 20th birthday in just over two weeks.
A third man was airlifted to Cork University Hospital (CUH) with serious but non-life-threatening injuries. He remains in a serious but stable condition in CUH.
A fourth man escaped uninjured.
Both men who survived the crash are aged in their 20s and are from the greater Glengarriff area.
Post-mortem examinations will be conducted on the two deceased at CUH.
It was a grim weekend on Irish roads as an elderly Polish woman died on Sunday evening from injuries she sustained in a collision in Cork on Friday.
Meanwhile, a motorcyclist died in a crash in Wexford on Saturday.
Celina Gosz (94) died at CUH after suffering critical injuries in a three-vehicle collision at
Killeagh in east Cork shortly after 5pm on July 31.
She was a back-seat passenger in one of the vehicles involved.
Yesterday’s tragedy brings to 87 the number of people to have died on Irish roads so far this year – nine more than for the same period last year despite the three-month Covid-19 pandemic lockdown.
Gardaí closed the Glengarriff Road to facilitate the work of accident scene investigators and the emergency services.
The stretch of road lies at the bottom of a relatively steep descent into the west Cork village from Kerry.
Diversions were put in place and motorists were urged to avoid the area.
Bantry gardaí were appealing for any witnesses to the crash or the movements of the car involved to come forward and assist their inquiry.
“We are appealing for any witnesses that may have seen a black Volkswagen Jetta prior to the accident, or in the general vicinity of Glengarriff last night, to contact us,” Supt Declan O’Sullivan said.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Bantry Garda Station on (027) 20860 or the Garda Confidential Line on (1800) 666111.
Cork South West TD Michael Collins said the ommunity was in shock at the scale of the tragedy.
“A tragedy like this is a cause of great upset to the whole community from Bantry to Kilcrohane and beyond,” he said.
“It is hard to comprehend the scale of the tragedy. Your thoughts and prayers go out to the families involved, who are heartbroken.
“This is a very tight-knit community and it is a truly shocking loss of life for them.”
Tragedy: Left: Michael Bowen. Above: A garda directs traffic at a checkpoint near the scene on the Kenmare Road close to Glengarriff, Co Cork.