Two gardai were lucky to escape with their lives when a suspected drink-driver drove through a closed stretch of road where a fatal accident had happened hours earlier.
The terrifying incident happened at 2.30am on Sunday near Edgeworthstown on the main Dublin to Longford Road just over three hours after a 36-year-old man died when his car and a minibus full of children collided.
Gardai closed off the N4 at Corboy, Edgeworthstown so that a forensic collision examination could be carried out.
It has now emerged that a 27-year-old Lithuanian national ploughed into the barriers before almost hitting a male and a female garda who were preserving the scene. The car then clipped a garda patrol car before crashing into a ditch.
The driver of the car, who was the only occupant of the vehicle, was arrested at the scene.
He was brought to Longford Garda Station and is expected to appear in court later this week.
"It is a matter of incredible good fortune that neither of the officers were not seriously injured - or worse - in this incident," a source said.
In the earlier crash, a separate 36-year-old Lithuanian national who had been living in Mullingar, Co Westmeath, died when his car collided head-on with a bus carrying 14 young children and two adults.
A number of ambulances rushed to the scene and the victim was pronounced dead before his body was taken to Mullingar Hospital.
The bus driver, who was completely blameless in the accident, was also taken to hospital but his injuries were described as non-life threatening.
However, he is said to be extremely shocked about what happened.
It is understood that the driver was attempting to overtake a number of other vehicles when he crashed head-on into the bus.
In total, three were killed in a weekend of carnage on the country's roads.
"Hearing about these deaths sets off alarm bells. A cyclist, a pedestrian and a driver losing their life in one day," Mayo Road Safety Officer Noel Gibbons said.