Two killed in crashes and six others injured as car plunges from bridge
Two people died and six people were injured in separate accidents over the weekend, one of which involved a car ploughing through a bridge and toppling on to the main Dublin-Cork railway line.
A 48-year-old Laois woman died in an accident late on Friday night at Ballickmoyler outside Portlaoise.
The latest two fatalities bring to 22 the number of people who have died on Irish roads this year - a slight decline on the 24 who died on Irish roads to February 23/25 last year.
Gardai, Cork County Council officials and Irish Rail engineers responded to an accident outside Buttevant in north Cork early on Saturday morning which resulted in a vehicle toppling on to Ireland's busiest rail line.
The accident happened at Grange West, outside Buttevant, shortly before 2am on Saturday.
A vehicle with six occupants collided with the stone parapet wall of a bridge and a number of telegraph poles around 3km from the village.
The car then left the roadway and plunged down on to the railway line below.
The driver of the vehicle suffered multiple injuries and was taken to Cork University Hospital in a serious condition.
Five other occupants were treated for multiple but non-life-threatening injuries. Three ambulances attended the scene.
The roadway was closed to allow for an examination by garda accident scene investigators.
Irish Rail officials also inspected the tracks involved for any indication of damage following the incident.
Locals said that it was a miracle no one was killed.
They warned that the accident could have had horrific consequences if it had occurred during periods when trains were passing on the line.
Meanwhile, an elderly man died in a two-vehicle collision in Waterford. The accident happened at Ballyhest Cross outside Rathgormack at 10am on Saturday.
A van being driven by the elderly man was in collision with an SUV driving in the opposite direction.
The van driver was rushed to Waterford University Hospital (WUH) with multiple injuries but was pronounced dead shortly after admission.
He is from the local area but will not be named until all relatives are informed of the tragedy.
Two people travelling in the SUV were also taken to WUH for treatment but their injuries are not believed to be life threatening.