Teen rushed to hospital as brother dies in crash
A 19-year-old man has died and his younger brother has been left in a serious condition following a road traffic collision in Co Offaly.
John Gorman died instantly and his brother Adam (17) was injured in a two-car collision yesterday afternoon.
The accident happened on the Tullamore to Portarlington road (R420) at Geashill at around 1.30pm.
John Gorman was driving one of the cars involved.
His brother Adam was travelling in the passenger seat.
Adam was taken by ambulance to the Midlands Regional Hospital. His injuries are thought to be serious, but not life-threatening.
The male driver of the second car, believed to be a foreign national, was also injured and was taken to hospital.
It is understood the young men were travelling to their home in Walsh Island, a three-mile journey from where the accident happened.
A garda spokesman said forensic collision investigators had been called to the scene.
The road between Geashill and Cloneygowan remained closed following the collision.
Local Fianna Fail councillor Eddie Fitzpatrick said the entire community was shocked at the tragedy.
"I've been speaking to the young man's relatives and have expressed my condolences," Mr Fitzpatrick told the Irish Independent last night.
"People from the region have contacted me and are saddened by the news. The young man's family are nice people and very well-respected in the local community."
The number of deaths on the country's roads this festive season has raised concerns among Road Safety Authority (RSA) officials.
John Gorman's death was the 18th on the roads this December. Eight people have been killed in traffic accidents since Christmas Eve, including two in Northern Ireland.
Warren Kenny (16) from Ballyfermot, Dublin, was killed on Christmas Day when the scrambler-motorbike he was travelling on collided with another vehicle near his home in Cherry Orchard.
And a 29-year-old pedestrian was also killed on Christmas Day in Co Carlow.
RSA chief executive Moyagh Murdock described the Christmas season as "tragic" following the high number of fatalities.
Ms Murdock said that many road deaths occur near where the motorists live. She also advised people to slow down and never drink and drive.
Met Eireann has also forecast heavy rain over the next few days and has urged motorists to exercise caution and check local weather reports.
The RSA is advising motorists not to make unnecessary journeys.