The father and son killed in a horrific crash in Co. Offaly yesterday have been named locally as 29-year-old Vincent Rossi and his five-year-old son Sully.
Mr Rossi’s nine-year-old daughter, named locally as Hayley, remains in a critical condition in Crumlin Children’s hospital.
Another son Daniel, aged eight, was treated at the Midland Regional Hospital in Tullamore for non-life threatening injuries.
Mr Rossi was the driver of a car involved in a crash with an articulated lorry at Scrubb, Killeigh, Tullamore at around 5pm yesterday.
The male driver of the truck received treatment for minor injuries at the Midlands hospital.
It has been reported that Mr Rossi is originally from Limerick but moved to Portlaoise as a child with his mother Mary and two sisters Amy and Laura and that he had been raising his children as a single parent in the area.
Locals described Mr Rossi, known as “Finch”, as a dedicated parent whose children attended school in Mountmellick, Co Laois.
Fr John Stapleton, parish priest of Killeigh where the accident occurred, said it was “awful for the family”.
“My thoughts are with the families of both drivers,” he said.
Fr Stapleton said his first inkling of the accident was when he was diverted cross country on his way to town yesterday afternoon.
“I saw a helicopter and I knew something serious was wrong. There was a big fear locally. Everyone was afraid for their own family,” Fr Stapleton said.
He said his thoughts were also with the first responders who found themselves “in an awful situation”.
“We take them for granted, and they are wonderful the way they step in,” he said.
Prayers were said for the deceased at a meeting in a local school last night, Fr Stapleton said.
Gardaí are appealing for anyone with information in relation to the accident to contact Tullamore Garda station on 057-932 7600, or the Garda Confidential Line on 1800-666111.