By Carmel Hayes
GARDAÍ in Portlaoise confirmed tonight that one man died and another was seriously injured in a motorway crash near the town.
In a statement at 10.40pm, gardaí said a man aged in his 80s was killed in the three-vehicle collision, which happened at about 7.15pm this evening.
The pile-up happened on the southbound carriage of the M7 near Portlaoise, close to the intersection of the M7 and M8 motorways.
A man aged in his 40s was seriously injured while three other people, including a child, were brought to hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
In tonight’s statement, gardaí said: “Gardaí in Portlaoise are investigating a fatal road traffic collision, that occurred on the M7 close to the intersection of the M7 and M8 motorways this evening, Monday 2 August, at approximately 7.15p.m.
“The three vehicle collision occurred when a man in his 80s was fatally injured, when his car collided with two other vehicles. He was removed to University Hospital Limerick in a serious condition and later passed away. He was the sole occupant of the car.”
The driver of the second vehicle, a man in his 40s, was seriously injured and has also been removed to University Hospital Limerick, along with the female passenger also aged in her 40s. Her injuries are described as non-life threatening.
In the third vehicle, a male driver and female passenger were removed to Cork University Hospital with non-life threatening injuries. One child in the car was taken to hospital for treatment.
The road remains closed as Garda Forensic Collision Investigators are at scene. Local diversions are in place.
Gardaí are appealing to anyone who may have witnessed the collision to come forward. Any road users who were travelling on the M7 this evening between 7p.m. and 7.30p.m. and who may have camera footage (including dash cam) are asked to make it available to Gardaí.
Anyone with any information is asked to contact Portlaoise Garda Station on (057) 8674100, the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111, or any Garda station.