Gardaí believe a Co Limerick man died with his young son, after deliberately driving his car into an oncoming articulated truck minutes after forcibly taking the boy from the home of his former partner, the child’s mother.
A murder-suicide investigation was being considered last night by senior gardaí in Limerck into the impact which occurred on a 15m wide straight stretch of the N24 Limerick-Tipperary national roadway 2km from Oola village.
Marco Velocci, aged 28, a local man who lives in Lattin, Co Tipperary, whose father moved to Co Limerick in the 1960s died along with his son Alex James Velocci, aged three.
Garda sources said last night they are satisfied the impact occurred on Mr Velocci’s incorrect side of the road and indications are that his Audi estate veered across the road slamming into a silo cement artic lorry which was travelling in the Tipperary town direction on its correct side of the N24.
A postmortem on both bodies will be carried out today at University Hospital Limerick by assistant state pathologist, Dr Louise Mullligan.
The boy’s mother and Marco Velocci’s former partner, Jodie Power, aged 26,was still being treated for stab wounds at the hospital.
Gardaí in Bruff were alerted yesterday about a major collision at around 8.20am.
As one unit was being sent to the scene another message was received from the child’s mother Jodie Power, who told gardaí that she had been badly assaulted at her home in Glebe Oola, a half mile from the village.
She told gardaí that her former partner Marco Velocci had assaulted her and had removed their son, Alex, from the the house. The couple who were described locally as childhood sweethearts, split up over a year ago.
Velocci left the house with Alex in his 05 black Audi A4 estate.
The crash happened minutes later about 3km from Ms Power’s home. Such was the ferocity of the impact, the truck travelling towards Tippeary ended up in a field on the far side of the road.
The Audi came to rest by a roadside ditch. When gardaí got to the scene the father and son were dead. Marco Velocci’s body was still in the car, and Alex lay dead on the road just beside the grass margin.
The bodies were removed to University Hospital Limerick at around 2pm by a local undertakers.
Jodie Power, who comes from a respected local family was still being treated in hospital last night. She has one other child, a boy, who is younger than Alex.
One neighbour at the Glebe Oola estate said: “She idolised her two children and is a great mother.”
Jonathan Ryan, aged 28, a close friend of Marco Velocci, said they grew up together. He said: “Marco was the nicest kindhearted person you could ever meet. We used to go out shooting for pheasants in the winter months and fished the local rivers in the summer for trout. I never heard him say a bad word about anybody.”
Local farmer John Ryan coached Marco Velocci in underage football. Mr Ryan, aged 70 said: “He was a good player and a nice young fellow. I heard about what happened from a man whose wife came on the scene. It was awful. We are all in shock.”
Another local man said Marco was so good at underage soccer he was nicknamed ‘Schillaci’.
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved