Gardaí in Galway are investigating a traffic incident in Headford that has left two teenagers dead and two others injured.
The occurred at Pollacullaire just off the Shrule road on the outskirts of the town in the early hours of Monday morning.
Four teenagers, two males and two females aged 13-14, were in the car when the occurred. It is not believed any other vehicle was involved.
Two of the occupants, a male and a female both aged 14, have been pronounced dead and the other two are being treated in hospital. One is believed to be from Headford, while the other is from Annaghdown.
Three of the occupants of the car are second-year students at Presentation College Headford, which is to cut short the Easter break and open on Tuesday to offer support to the students’ classmates. The other student, aged 13, is in first year.
It is believed the incident happened at about 5.45am on a narrow stretch of road at Pollacullaire on the L6127 at Glennagarraun in the Ballyfruit area of Headford. No other vehicle was involved and it is believed their car may have collided with a tree. There had been heavy rain throughout Sunday and overnight in the area.
Emergency services rushed to the scene, where one boy was pronounced dead. The remaining three occupants were rushed to University Hospital Galway, 30km away, where a girl has since been pronounced dead. The other two remain in the hospital for treatment. The extent of their injuries is unknown at this point.
The L6127 road at Glennagarraun, Ballyfruit, in Headford was closed in the aftermath, as were others in the area. Forensic collision investigators were called in and a technical examination of the scene was under way. Local diversions are in place. Gardaí have appealed for witnesses.
“Due to a road traffic collision on the N84 in the Pollacullaire area of Headford, Co Galway, the road there is currently closed and is expected to be closed for the morning. Local diversions are in place. Delays are expected,” said a Garda statement.
A critical incident plan at Presentation College Headford has been activated.
Parents were issued with a letter outlining the school’s response to the tragedy.
“The school has experienced the sudden and tragic deaths of two treasured members of our PCH community. We are deeply saddened by these deaths. Our thoughts are with the families and friends of these students,” it said.
“The school will be open tomorrow, April 11th from 11.00am to 2.00pm to offer support to the classmates, friends and any students who need support. The study hall will be available.
“We will have staff members and psychologists from NEPS (National Educational Psychological Service) available for anyone who needs support at this terribly tragic and confusing time.
“It is possible that your child may have some feelings and questions s/he may like to discuss with you. It is important to give factual information that is age appropriate.
“Over the course of the coming days, please keep a close eye on your child and allow him/her to express their feelings without criticism. We anticipate that the next few days will be very difficult for everyone and we will be available as a supportive community, as needed.”
Chairperson of the school’s board of management, Cllr Mary Hoade, said the town is in shock as a result of the crash.
The chairperson of the school’s board of management, Cllr. Mary Hoade, said the area was stunned by what has happened.
“We are deeply shocked and deeply saddened. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of the deceased and the injured and also with their friends and classmates. It is unbelievable what has happened.
“Everyone is numb and we just need to put as many support networks in place,’ she said.
Gardaí said they are engaging with the families of all involved and Garda family liaison officers (FLOs) were to be appointed.
“Any road users who may have camera footage and were travelling on the L6127 at Glennagarraun, Ballyfruit in Headford between 5:30am and 6am are asked to make this footage available to gardaí,” a statement said.
Anyone with any information is asked to contact Tuam Garda station on 093 70840, the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111, or any Garda station.