Elderly couple killed in head-on collision named locally
Garda appeal for witnesses
An elderly husband and wife died in a head-on collision which forced the closure of the main Cork-Limerick road.
The couple, named locally as Con and Mary McCarthy, are from Buttevant in north Cork.
The accident occurred shortly before 6pm between Buttevant and Mallow, less than 1km from Mallow General Hospital.
Initial reports indicated that one vehicle suddenly appeared to veer across the busy road into the path of an oncoming car.
Traffic was particularly heavy at the time.
One theory being examined by gardaí is that the driver may have been taken seriously ill in the seconds before the collision.
The couple, who were in their late 70s, suffered multiple injuries.
The woman was pronounced dead at the scene.
Her husband, who was driving the car, died before he could be rushed to Cork University Hospital (CUH).
A young woman driving a second car suffered only minor cuts and bruises in the road collision.
The woman was treated at the scene by paramedics and was said to be deeply shocked.
However, the woman did not require overnight hospitalisation.
The road was immediately closed to facilitate the work of the emergency services, including gardaí, Mallow Fire Brigade and paramedics.
Gardaí warned the road will remain closed for some time while accident scene investigators examine the precise stretch of the N20 roadway involved.
Diversions are in place and motorists have been urged to avoid the area if possible, as lengthy delays are expected.
Gardaí have also appealed for any witnesses to the collision to contact them at Mallow Garda Station on (022) 31450.
Weather conditions were described as quite good at the time of the tragedy.
The place where the accident occurred is just over 1km from Mallow General Hospital and involves a relatively straight stretch of the N20.
The fatal accident also occurred less than 2km from the scene of a five-vehicle pile-up on March 20, in which a 72-year- old motorist died.