Athy crash: Five past pupils involved in fatal crash

Scene of crash Image copyright RTE
Image caption The road remains closed while a forensic investigation is carried out

A school has paid tribute to five former pupils involved in a fatal car crash in County Kildare.

Four young women were killed and another injured when the car in which they were travelling collided with a van at about 21:45 GMT on 6 January.

All five were past pupils of St Leo's College in Carlow.

"It is with great sadness that we learned of the tragic accident involving five of our past pupils," a statement issued by the school said.

"The staff and students of St Leo's College are devastated at the loss of four beautiful young girls. We extend our heartfelt sympathies to their families and friends at this awful time."

Those who died were Aisling Middleton of Athy, County Kildare, Gemma Nolan and Niamh Doyle from Carlow town, all 19.

The fourth victim was Chermaine Carroll, 20, of Pollerton, Carlow.

The two men in the van have also been treated for injuries. They managed to escape from the van before it caught fire.

The crash happened on the N78 at Burtown, near Athy.

Fr Frank McEvoy was called to the scene two hours after the crash.

He told radio station, Newstalk, on Wednesday that it was a "very sad and very sobering" scene.

"It really brought it home. So many people are careful on the roads now but anything can happen," he said.

"Nothing could be done for those women, the inspector said to me the families would appreciate it if a priest came and prayed for them."

The road has been reopened to traffic following a forensic investigation.

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