'Kerrie had a heart of gold' - tributes paid to young nurse who died in road crash on way home from work
TRIBUTES have been paid to a young Kerry nurse and former London Rose contestant who died in a two-vehicle collision as she was travelling home from work.
The nurse, named locally as Kerrie Browne (26), died after a two vehicle collision shortly after 8am on the N21 Limerick-Killarney road just outside Castleisland at Meenleitrim.
A car and a jeep were involved in the collision a short distance outside the Kerry town.
Two people were injured in the accident.
Ms Browne, the driver and sole occupant of the car, suffered critical injuries.
She was treated at the scene and desperate attempts were made to stabilise her condition.
Tragically, she was pronounced dead at the scene before she could be transferred to University Hospital Kerry (UHK).
The scale of the tragedy was underlined by the fact some of the emergency services personnel who attended the scene are understood to have known the nurse through her work at UHK.
A native of Brosna, Ms Browne had worked in London as a nurse and, three years ago, was one of the contestants to seek to represent London in the Rose of Tralee competition.
The young woman had recently returned to Kerry having secured a position at UHK.
She hailed from a well-respected family with deep links to both Kerry GAA and equestrian sports.
The driver of the jeep was taken to UHK with what are understood to be non-life threatening injuries.
Gardaí hope to speak with the man, once he has recovered sufficiently, in a bid to clarify the precise circumstances of the accident.
The section of the road involved was closed by Gardaí to facilitate the work of the emergency services.
Kerry Fire Brigade units and paramedics also attended the scene.
Crash debris was spread over part of the roadway.
Gardaí urged motorists to avoid the area if possible or to expect delays from diversions in place.
The road was scheduled to re-open last night.
Officers are also hoping to speak to anyone who may have witnessed the collision and are appealing for anyone who used the route at the time and whose vehicle is equipped with dash-cam equipment to contact them.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Tralee Garda Station on (066) 7102300 or the Garda Confidential Line (1800) 666111.
Tributes were paid to Ms Browne by locals shocked by the tragedy.
"She was a fantastic nurse - she was absolutely wonderful at her job. Kerrie had a heart of gold and everyone is just heartbroken for her family," one neighbour said.
Ms Browne is understood to have been particularly close to her siblings.