'Expect the unexpected' on the roads as seven die in five crashes since Sunday

'Expect the unexpected' on the roads as seven die in five crashes since Sunday

Police in Tyrone parked on a partly closed Omagh Road at the Ballygawley roundabout after three men were killed in Garvaghy at around 1.50am on Monday. Picture:: Liam McBurney/PA Wire

Officials have urged the public to take greater care on our roads following a number of fatalities over the Christmas period.

Four people were killed on Irish roads in the last two days, with a further three in Co. Tyrone. 

That was the same as the number of fatalities on the roads for the month of November which, according to the Road Safety Authority (RSA), was a cause for concern.

Up until Christmas Eve, 128 people had lost their lives on Irish roads in 2021 with that number rising to 132 in recent days. While this was likely to be the lowest figure on record, the RSA's Brian Farrel pointed out that 900 people were also seriously injured on the roads this year.

A spokesperson for the Gardaí said that hazardous road conditions over the coming days are likely. 

"Please slow down and drive at the right speed for the conditions. Never drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol and always wear your seatbelt," the spokesperson said. 

"A number of families are missing their loved ones over the Christmas holidays. Please take care and play your part in ensuring more families do not receive the same devastating news."

Mr Farrell appealed to motorists to “expect the unexpected” on the road.

He advised people to slow down, drive at a speed appropriate for the conditions, watch out for glare, do not drive while impaired and always wear seat belts.

Speaking on RTÉ radio’s News at One, Mr Farrell also urged motorists to be aware of other road users such as pedestrians, cyclists and people riding horses. 

“Slow down and give them space.” 

Conditions presented an extra challenge for motorists when driving at this time of year, he said.

On Monday, a man in his 30s was killed in a crash involving a car and a bus in Co. Wicklow. The incident happened shortly before 10pm on the M11 at Ballynabarney. The driver of the car was pronounced dead at the scene. No other injuries have been reported.

The southbound lane of the M11 remained closed this morning between junction 16 and 17 to allow for a forensic examination, with local diversions in place.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Wicklow Garda Station on 0404 60140, the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111, or any Garda Station.

Earlier in the day, a man died following a crash in Co. Mayo. The crash happened at around 5.40pm on the N60 at Breaffy in Castlebar when two cars collided.

The man in his 30s, a passenger in one of the vehicles, suffered fatal injuries in the crash. Three men and a woman were taken to Mayo General Hospital following the crash with non-life-threatening injuries. Gardai are appealing for witnesses.

Three men in their 20s lost their lives in a crash involving a car and a lorry in Co. Tyrone in the early hours of Monday morning. A fourth man, also in his 20s, was brought to hospital with serious injuries.

In Dublin, a cyclist in his 80s died after being struck by a car in Ballyfermot at around 1pm. The driver of the car involved in the crash was unharmed.

Finally, a man in his early 20s was killed in a two-car crash in Co. Wexford.

The man was the driver and sole occupant of one of the cars involved. The woman driver of the other car, who is aged in her 50s, was seriously injured.

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