A CAR which drove the wrong way up the M50 and caused a pile-up was being pursued by gardai at the time.
Seven people – including three children – were taken to hospital after the horror smash.
The man was trying to evade gardai when the crash occurred at around 8pm last night between the Ballinteer and Leopardstown exits in South Dublin, the Evening Herald has learned.
The driver of the car remains in a critical condition in Beaumont Hospital today.
Three adults and three children who were travelling in other vehicles involved in the smash were recovering from non-life threatening injuries.
A total of five vehicles were involved in the pile-up which occurred near Junction 13 shortly before 8pm last night.
The Garda Ombudsman confirmed that it is now investigating the circumstances of the accident after it emerged one vehicle had been under surveillance by Gardai earlier in the evening.
The accident occurred after one car was driven the wrong way along the southbound carriageway of the M50.
However, the vehicle is not understood to have been pursued onto the M50 by gardai.
Because a garda vehicle had one of the cars under surveillance earlier in the evening the Garda Commissioner referred the matter to GSOC.
GSOC official Graham Doyle said that their involvement in accordance with normal protocols.
"The matter was referred to us by the Garda Commissioner last night.
That is standard procedure in incidents such as this," he said.
None of the children hurt in the accident sustained life-threatening injuries.
Gardai and GSOC officials are now examining CCTV footage from the route involved to determine the precise circumstances of the accident.
The accident occurred after two people were killed on Irish roads in the previous 24 hours.
Cyclist Martin Minnagh (40) died after colliding with a car in Wexford.
Student Clodagh Cummins (19) from Limerick died at Cork University Hospital (CUH) after she suffered critical injuries in a car crash on February 9.