GARDAI were last night attempting to establish the identity of a young man who died alongside another man after they were struck by a car driven by an off-duty garda on a busy motorway.
The Garda Ombudsman is appealing for witnesses to the road traffic accident on the M20 which occurred just before midnight on Wednesday on the outskirts of Limerick city.
One of the victims killed -- after the Opel Astra car collided with the two men -- has been named as Gavin O'Callaghan (20) of Courtown Drive, Knocknaheeny, Cork.
Investigators are examining the possibility that the two men may have been involved in an altercation on the outbound lane of the motorway when the car driven by the off-duty male officer crashed into them.
An off-duty female officer was also in the vehicle. The speed limit on the motorway is 120kph.
Emergency services were alerted, but the two victims were pronounced dead at the scene. Members of Roxboro garda station arrived at the scene, but no arrests were made.
The Garda Ombudsman is investigating reports that the two victims may have just got out of a car which was parked on the hard shoulder of the motorway, close to the scene of the fatal collision.
It is understood that the unidentified vehicle had its hazard lights on and had two other occupants on board.
Investigators are attempting to establish whether the two men were involved in a row in the middle of the road seconds before the collision took place.
A female passenger got out of the parked vehicle seconds after the collision, but quickly got back in and the car took off from the scene. Investigators are attempting to uncover the identity of those who were in the parked car and what route it took after the accident.
The road was closed temporarily following the incident, but had re-opened before yesterday morning's rush-hour traffic.
The two off-duty officers were not injured during the fatal collision but are said to be shocked following the ordeal.
It is understood they are both based at Henry Street garda station in Limerick city and had just finished working for the night when the accident took place.
Post-mortem examinations on the two victims were due to take place at the Mid-Western Regional Hospital in Limerick yesterday evening.
There were little signs of the incident yesterday apart from garda tape and muddied grass verges on the side of the motorway.
Mr O'Callaghan comes from a large extended family who are well known on the northside of Cork city.
A spokesman for the Garda Ombudsman's office said it is seeking information from anyone who may be able to assist in tracing the vehicle which was parked on the hard shoulder of the M20.
Anyone who may be of assistance is asked to call the Garda Ombudsman on (1890) 600800.