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Gardaí fear driver in N7 killer crash gave them bogus identity

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The N7, where the fatal crash happened

The N7, where the fatal crash happened

Colin Keegan

The N7, where the fatal crash happened

GardaÍ are trying to establish the identity of a man involved in a horror road crash amid suspicions he supplied a false name to officers.

It comes as the Garda Ombudsman's office confirmed it has upgraded its enquiries into the fatal collision in west Dublin last Monday that claimed the life of Moldovan national Anatolii Butucel (45).

Mr Butucel died after a Volkswagen Passat being driven the wrong way down the N7 ploughed head-on into his Toyota Yaris.

Mr Butucel was pronounced dead at the scene, while his front-seat passenger was hospitalised with life-threatening injuries.

Suspicious

The driver of the Passat was also hospitalised, with non- life-threatening injuries.

The Herald understands gardaí are still trying to establish the Passat driver's identity and whether he supplied false information.

No arrests have yet been made.

"Gardaí took initial details which have not yet been fully established. Basically, the driver may not be the person he says he is," a source told the Herald.

"There have been no arrests as part of this investigation and gardaí are still trying to confirm his identity."

Gardaí interacted with the Passat near the N7 shortly after midnight on Monday after they became suspicious.

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Victim Anatolii Butucel, from Moldova

Victim Anatolii Butucel, from Moldova

Victim Anatolii Butucel, from Moldova

The car matched a vehicle that had been chased a week earlier, and it is understood gardaí suspected it was involved in scoping out properties for burglaries.

The Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission (Gsoc)said it has upgraded its enquiries after carrying out initial examinations.

A spokesperson said it has launched an investigation into the interaction between the silver-coloured Passat and gardaí before the car went on to the N7 dual carriageway.

"The circumstances of the referral was on the basis that the silver Passat had come to the attention of gardaí prior to it entering the dual carriageway," the spokesperson said.

"The silver Passat subsequently collided with an outbound vehicle.

"The road traffic collision took place on the N7 dual carriageway outbound near Junction 2 Kingswood between the hours of 12am and 1am on Monday, September 21.

"Gsoc would like to hear from anyone who saw a silver VW Passat in the area.

"They also want to hear from anyone who may have dashcam or mobile footage from the area during this time. Gsoc can be contacted at 1890 600 800."