GARDAI yesterday renewed their appeal for anyone who may have seen a car in which two young people lost their lives in horrific circumstances just hours in to 2011.
Patrick Harper (22) and 17-year-old Susan Larrigan are believed to have been killed instantly when their BMW left the M1 motorway near Milltown, Co Louth.
Both friends were from Dundalk and were the only two people in the car at the time.
The vehicle is understood to have hit a Skoda car it was overtaking, causing it to swerve off the motorway via the hard shoulder and mount an embankment.
It then crashed through a fence before coming to rest in a field. The BMW was perforated in several places by fencing and the two friends were struck by a wooden pole that entered the vehicle through the driver's door.
An experienced garda said the couple had been impaled on the pole and that it was one of the most upsetting sights he had ever come upon.
"It was just horrific. All I can say is they would have died instantly," he said.
The lone male occupant of the Skoda was not injured.
The crash happened between junctions 15 and 16 on the southbound carriageway of the motorway at around 4.30am.
Ms Larrigan was due to turn 18 next week. Messages left on her mother Valerie Larrigan's Facebook page yesterday expressed shock at the death.
"So sorry for your loss, our thoughts and prayers are with you. Heaven has gained another beautiful angel," one friend posted.
Post-mortem examinations, including toxicology tests, were carried out yesterday at Louth County Hospital in Dundalk.
Gardai are asking anyone who may have been travelling on the M1 motorway in the area after 4am on New Year's Day to contact them.