Flammable liquid ignited inside car before it crashed in fireball
Examination of the car which exploded in a fireball on the M4 in Co Westmeath last Monday indicates that a flammable liquid was set on fire inside the car.
Gardai spoke to witnesses who said they saw the car being driven erratically with smoke coming from the windows and flames visible inside before it hit the concrete median barrier and exploded. Pictures taken by motorists stopped by the incident show a fire raging in the car.
The driver, Mr Paul McKeon, 50, who was living in Blackrock, Co Dublin, died in the fireball that engulfed the car. Motorists who stopped as the car exploded were unable to do anything because of the intensity of the fire.
It is understood Mr McKeon had rented the Opel Zafira in Dublin earlier last Monday.
The incident happened near Kinnegad at around 4pm. Both car and driver were incinerated. Technical examination indicated that an "accelerant", possibly petrol, had been ignited inside the vehicle.
Mr McKeon, who was a businessman, was buried yesterday after Mass at the Church of the Assumption in Howth, Co Dublin, where he grew up. Death notices indicated he was unmarried and had no children.
The Garda Press Office said the driver of the car was dead by the time gardai arrived. They appealed for witnesses who saw the car being driven in an erratic fashion on the M4 to contact Mullingar garda station on 044 9384000 or the confidential line 1800 666 111.