Saturday 17 March 2018

Road where mother and son died was untreated

Elaine Keogh

THE stretch of road where a mother and son died in a fatal car crash had not been treated because of salt shortages.

Although the road north of Dunleer, in Co Louth, had been salted earlier this month, rationing of supply meant it was left untreated prior to the fatal crash on Saturday.

Icy road conditions were believed to be a contributory factor in the crash on the former main road between Dublin and Belfast.

Last night gardai named the victims as Leontina Covaci (35) and her son Ezacheal Covaci (9), of Rivervale Grove in Dunleer. The woman's husband, who was driving the Opel Vectra car, along with the couple's daughter (3) and a niece (9) were injured.

The husband was discharged from hospital, but the nine-year old girl was transferred to Our Lady's Children's Hospital in Crumlin, Dublin, where she is in a critical condition.

The three-year old was transferred to Temple Street Children's Hospital.

The family, originally from Romania, were living in Dunleer where the children attended local schools. The crash happened at 2.30pm.

A spokesman for Louth County Council last night confirmed the road had not been treated.

"The road where Saturday's fatal road traffic accident occurred was untreated in line with the decision announced on Friday to prioritise national routes and ration scarce salt supplies, pending further stocks arriving into the country later this week," he said.

He also confirmed it had been gritted previously.

Locals said there was black ice on stretches of the road after overnight snow and a hard frost and a number of cars had skidded on it.

The National Roads Authority allocates salt to the county councils and last week it told local authorities to begin rationing stocks.

The NRA said there was enough salt to ensure main roads continued to be treated and further supplies of salt were being held up at sea by storms.

Irish Independent

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