Two teenage friends died after their car went out of control and crashed near Killarney, Co Kerry, early on Saturday.
They have been named as Anthony Battles, aged 17, of Hazelwood Drive, Ballyspillane, Killarney, and Dillon McCarthy, aged 16, of Cois Coille, Tralee.
They lay in the car, some of which was covered by trees beneath road level, for several hours before being discovered by a passing motorist at midday on Saturday.
The accident occurred sometime after 3am on Saturday. The silver Toyota Avensis, which Mr Battles had acquired only a few days previously, was extensively damaged after hitting a tree at Rusheenmore, Glenflesk, on the N22 Cork to Killarney road, along a stretch where a number of fatalities have occurred.
Investigating gardaí believe the 06-registered car was coming from the Cork side when it failed to negotiate a slight right hand bend, launched into the air, went down an embankment and collided with a tree.
The youths, both members of the settled Traveller community, were pronounced dead at the scene.
Ambulance and emergency service personnel attended and the bodies were removed to Kerry General Hospital, Tralee, for autopsies.
Independent Killarney councillor Donal Grady said the teenagers’ loss caused great sadness in their communities.
“I know both families and am very sorry for them. This is a terrible tragedy," he said.
Sergeant Dermot O’Connell, Killarney, said it was being treated as a single-vehicle accident and he appealed to people who may have seen the car to come forward.
Anyone with information can contact Killarney Garda station, 064 6671160; Garda Confidential Line 1800-666-111.
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