Friends die in exam celebration crash

CELEBRATIONS to mark the end of school exams turned to tragedy early yesterday morning when three young Dubliners were killed in a horrific car crash.

The accident happened at around 3.50am at the junction of Dublin Road and Sutton Park on the coast road between Clontarf and Howth.

Another passenger was still in a coma at Beaumont Hospital last night where his condition was described as serious after the Nissan Micra in which the group was travelling hit an ESB pole near Sutton.

The driver of the vehicle escaped with minor injuries and was later released from hospital.

Two of the victims, Peter O’Rourke, aged 18, of Lentisk Lawn, Donaghmede, and Anthony Murphy, aged 18 of Beverton Grove, Donabate, who were sixth year students at Mount Temple Comprehensive School, had just completed their final Leaving Cert exams on Thursday.

The third victim, Aston Ryan, a 21-year-old electrician, from Grangemore Crescent, Donaghmede, had joined the group on Thursday evening as local teenagers hung around the nearby Donahies estate to celebrate the end of exams.

It is understood the five friends went for a drive around the area at around 3.30am in a car owned by one of the youth’s parents.

The two injured men were named as Keith Bolger and Ruairi Conroy who were neighbours of Peter O’Rourke in Lentisk Lawn.

Friends and neighbours of the victims yesterday expressed shock at the deaths of the three youths who had been seen around the estate just hours before their death.

“It’s just impossible to take in that they’re gone. They were in such great mood as they finished their final exam in engineering,” said one of the dead youth’s friends as two others sobbed uncontrollably.

Yesterday evening, a group of around 20 teenagers staged an impromptu vigil at the scene of the accident around a mile away from the Donahies estate.

It appears the car went out of control and hit the ESB pole before knocking down a metal bollard.

Two of the victims were killed instantly when the force of the collision catapulted them through the rear window of the car.

Their bodies were found 35ft away from the crash impact on a small grassy patch.

No other vehicle was involved.

Superintendent Nicky Conneely of Raheny garda station yesterday appealed for any witnesses who may have seen the 01-D-registered blue Nissan Micra around the time of the accident.

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