Monday 18 November 2019

'Four young bodies lying on the side of the road with their whole lives ahead of them' - Words of priest who gave Last Rites

Denise Calnan

Denise Calnan

“To see four young bodies lying on the side of the road was very sad and very sobering”

These are the words of the priest who arrived at the devastating aftermath of a horrific crash that claimed the lives of four young women and seriously injured three others.

Father Frank McEvoy was called to the tragic scene where he gave the four dead women the Last Rites on the roadside.

The women, three of whom were aged 19 and the fourth aged 20, are believed to have been returning to college last night when the car they were travelling in was involved in a collision with a van.

A fifth woman, a 20-year-old who was driving the car the women were in, remains in a serious condition in hospital this morning.

The two men travelling in the Volkswagen Transporter van, which collided with the car, managed to escape from the vehicle before it burst into flames.

Scene of a crash in Athy, Co Kildare that killed four and left three seriously injured (Photo: Kyran O'Brien)
Scene of a crash in Athy, Co Kildare that killed four and left three seriously injured (Photo: Kyran O'Brien)
Scene of a crash in Athy, Co Kildare that killed four and left three seriously injured (Photo: Kyran O'Brien)
Scene of a crash in Athy, Co Kildare that killed four and left three seriously injured (Photo: Kyran O'Brien)
Scene of a crash in Athy, Co Kildare that killed four and left three seriously injured (Photo: Kyran O'Brien)
Scene of a crash in Athy, Co Kildare that killed four and left three seriously injured (Photo: Kyran O'Brien)
Scene of a crash in Athy, Co Kildare that killed four and left three seriously injured (Photo: Kyran O'Brien)
Athy tragedy: Scene of horror crash that killed four college friends described as 'carnage' (Photo: Kyran O'Brien)
Athy tragedy: Scene of horror crash that killed four college friends described as 'carnage' (Photo: Kyran O'Brien)
Athy tragedy: Scene of horror crash that killed four college friends described as 'carnage' (Photo: Kyran O'Brien)
Athy tragedy: Scene of horror crash that killed four college friends described as 'carnage' (Photo: Kyran O'Brien)
Athy tragedy: Scene of horror crash that killed four college friends described as 'carnage' (Photo: Kyran O'Brien)
Scene of a crash in Athy, Co Kildare that killed four and left three seriously injured (Photo: Kyran O'Brien)
Scene of a crash in Athy, Co Kildare that killed four and left three seriously injured (Photo: Kyran O'Brien)
Athy tragedy: Scene of horror crash that killed four college friends described as 'carnage'
Scene of fatal accident at Burton crossroad on N78, Athy Co. Kildare. Photo: Michael O'Rourke
Scene of fatal accident at Burtown crossroad on N78, Athy Co. Kildare. Photo: Michael O'Rourke

Speaking to Newstalk’s Pat Kenny, the priest, from the Narraghmore/Moone Parish in Kildare, said he wished to extend his sympathies to the families of the bereaved and his prayers to those in hospital.

“I was called out by gardai last night... to see four young bodies on the side of the road, it was very sad and very sobering,” he said.

“It really brought it home. So many people are careful on the roads now but anything can happen.

“To see four young bodies lying on the side of the road was very sad and very sobering,” he continued.

“When you stand there and see four young bodies meant to have their whole lives ahead of them.”

Fr McEvoy said he was called to the scene at approximately 11.45pm, almost two hours after the incident took place.

“Nothing could be done for those women, the inspector said to me the families would appreciate it if a priest came and prayed for them on the side of the road," he continued.

“The driving conditions seemed okay, it was cold and windy but the roads were not slippery.”

The priest described the condition of the car the girls were travelling in as ‘mangled’.

“The car that the girls in the roof was taken off but it was mangled, the van on the other side had to be taken away from the car because it was on fire,  it had to be pulled away from car,” he continued.

“I had no acknowledgment of where they could be from – we heard news that they were from NUI Maynooth but that couldn’t be confirmed.”

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