Deadly start to the new year as four die on the roads in only nine days
Road safety chiefs have expressed alarm after four deaths on our roads in just the first nine days of the year.
The latest fatality involved an elderly man in Co Kerry who was involved in a two-vehicle collision outside Killarney which also left an elderly woman fighting for her life.
Both pensioners were travelling in the same vehicle. They are from the Kilcummin area.
It was the second fatal collision in Co Kerry in the space of only four days.
A man died on Monday after a collision between a truck and a van on the N21 Castleisland to Abbeyfeale road.
The other two fatal accidents happened in Co Limerick and Co Offaly, with a person dying on Irish roads on average every 48 hours so far in 2020.
It represents three more deaths than for the same period in 2019.
Both gardai and the Road Safety Authority (RSA) expressed concern at the trend.
The total deaths on our roads increased by 4pc last year compared to 2018, which ranked as the safest year since records began in 1959. A total of 148 people lost their lives last year compared to 142 in 2018.
As well as the four deaths over the past nine days, four other people have been left seriously or critically injured in collisions, including accidents in Co Cork and Co Tipperary.
The latest tragedy happened shortly before 7am yesterday at Finnegan's Cross outside Kilcummin, Co Kerry.
The collision involved two cars and resulted in three people being taken to hospital.
An elderly man was pronounced dead shortly after arrival at University Hospital Kerry (UHK) in Tralee.
An elderly woman was treated for critical injuries and was last night fighting for her life.
The third person hospitalised, a middle-aged woman, was being treated for serious but non-life threatening injuries in hospital.
Gardai immediately closed the section of road involved and urged motorists to avoid the area, with diversions in place.
A garda forensic team conducted an examination of the accident scene.
Gardai are now appealing for anyone with information, particularly any road users travelling in the area at the time of the collision who may have camera footage, to contact Killarney Garda Station on 064 6671160, the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666111 or any garda station.