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"A desperate tragedy": Shock in Co Kildare as four young women killed in road crash

The women were aged between 19 and 20 years old, and were from Carlow and Athy. Three others were injured.

Updated at 12.30pm

Source: Eamonn Farrell/Photocall Ireland

FOUR YOUNG WOMEN have been killed after a crash between a car and van in Co Kildare last night.

The women have this afternoon been named as Ashling Middleton (19) from Athy and Niamh Doyle (19), Gemma Nolan (19) and Chermaine Carroll (20) all from Carlow.

Another woman, aged 20, who was travelling with them, was critically injured in the crash. She was taken to Naas General Hospital.

Source: Eamonn Farrell/Photocall Ireland

The two men in the van were treated at scene before also being taken to Naas.

The crash happened shortly before 9.45pm at Burtown in Kildare, around three miles from Junction 3 of the M9, heading for Athy on the N78.

Conditions

Local priest Fr Frank McEvoy was asked to attend the scene by Gardaí in the hours after the collision.

“The inspector said to me the family would appreciate if a priest would come and pray at the side of the road for them,” he told Newstalk.

He said it had been a cold and windy night, but that otherwise driving conditions appeared okay, and that the stretch in question was a straight link-road to the motorway.

The roof was taken off the car by emergency services, McEvoy said — and the front of the van had gone on fire after the collision.

Source: Niall Carson

Local Fianna Fáil TD Seán Ó Fearghaíl said he was shocked by what happened, describing it as “a tragedy beyond comprehension for the families and communities affected.”

“This is a desperate tragedy to befall these families and I can only express my deepest sympathies to them at this difficult time.

I know the area where this crash occurred on N78 at Burtown and the community will be utterly shocked to hear this news.

Source: Eamonn Farrell/Photocall Ireland

7/12015. Kildare Crash. Gardai and media at the sc Source: Eamonn Farrell/Photocall Ireland

Not the time for who, what, why and how

Kildare County Council’s Road Safety Officer Declan Keogh described the collision as ‘appalling, tragic and beyond comprehension’.

He said the four deaths have torn asunder many families, friends and communities in Athy and Carlow, where the girls were from.

Keogh said now is not the time or place for the who, what, why and how, but said we should all think of this crash, look at the severity of the collision and its outcome, and pray for those who have died, and those who are in hospital following the crash.

Appeal 

The Road Safety Authority has renewed its New Year road safety appeal in the wake of the crash.

“Already we have lost six lives on the country’s roads in the first seven days of 2015,” CEO Moyagh Murdock said.

It’s been an appalling start to the year and mirrors exactly the situation at same time last year.

“If anything should come from such loss of life, it’s that it may serve as a reminder to us all that using the road is the most dangerous thing we do every day. All it takes is a split second for a situation to turn to tragedy.”

The road is closed and will remain so until later today as forensic tests take place at the scene. Diversions are in place.

Witnesses to the collision are asked to contact the gardaí in Athy on 059 8634210, the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111 or any Garda station.

Additional reporting Orla Ryan, Paul Hosford and Christina Finn. 

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