herald

Tuesday 21 November 2017

'We cannot believe the full tragedy of it' - locals grieve as crash victims identified

Emergency services at the scene of the crash Photo: Patrick Browne
Emergency services at the scene of the crash Photo: Patrick Browne
Eamon Dixon has been named locally as one of the victims
Gary Fenton is still in intensive care

This is the face of one of the three young men who died in a horror crash when the car they were travelling in burst into flames.

Eamon Dixon was yesterday named locally as one of the tragic victims of Sunday morning's fireball in Dungarvan.

The three were killed when the vehicle they were in collided head-on with a people carrier, in which two adults and four young children from Cork were on their way to a Christmas festival.

The incident happened around 5km from Dungarvan on the Military Road, the N72 - which acts as a bypass route for the town in west Waterford - shortly before 10am.

Shocking

Two of the dead lived in the Murphy Place estate in Dungarvan according to grieving locals, who were coming to terms with the shocking deaths.

Eamon Dixon, who was said to be 21, and Mikey Tobin, whose family were originally from the Gaeltacht area of Ring, were described as good friends.

The identity of the third man who died is not yet known.

People who knew Mr Dixon said they had heard the awful news locally on Sunday afternoon.

"He and Mikey were good pals. Eamon was a nice fella, a quiet sort of a lad," said one man.

"We can't believe the tragedy of it, especially so close to Christmas.

"It's awful," said a young woman.

Yesterday, people called to the family home of Mr Dixon to console them as they awaited official confirmation of his identification from gardai.

A friend and neighbour of Mr Tobin posted a message on her Facebook page last night saying he was "one true mate and neighbour".

Other friends responded with messages of sympathy.

All three men received terrible burns to their bodies as a result of the early morning road smash.

Gardai were consulting with medical professionals in their efforts to identify them as quickly as possible for their families.

Meanwhile, the two adults and four children who were travelling in the people carrier were still being cared for in hospitals in Cork and Waterford last night.

Surgery

The adults were named locally as Gary Fenton, from Cobh, and Mary Bermingham, from Banteer in Co Cork.

Both underwent emergency surgery on Sunday night.

Mr Fenton, who is a member of the Naval Service and attached to the LE William Butler Yeats ship, was still in intensive care last night.

The condition of Ms Bermingham was not known.

The four children who were in the car are aged between six and fourteen years, and one is reported to have special needs.

Local sources last night told the Herald that this child was doing well and has been released from hospital.

However, the other children involved in the crash were still being treated in hospital.

A forensic examination of the crash scene took place yesterday morning, and both vehicles that were removed from the scene on Sunday night will also undergo technical examination.

It is believed that Mr Fenton, Ms Bermingham and the children were on their way to a Christmas festival in Waterford when the crash happened.

Mary Bermingham previously lost a brother, Christopher, in a car crash in May 2014.

The two cars, a small saloon and a people carrier, collided head-on on Military Road, some 5km outside Dungarvan in Waterford at 10am on Sunday morning.

The smaller car exploded in an intense fireball just seconds after impact, killing the three men inside.

The deaths occurred during 24 hours of carnage on Irish roads, which saw four people killed and nine more injured in two separate collisions.

A man died following a two-car collision outside Fermoy in north Cork yesterday morning.

A child, understood to be a passenger in one of the vehicles, suffered serious injuries.

In Dublin yesterday, a cyclist had a lucky escape after colliding with a Dublin Bus on College Street.

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