Police Tape
This is a representational image of a police tape. REUTERS/Gaston De Cardenas

Two American tourists who were vacationing in Ireland died in a freak horse-drawn carriage crash Monday. Rosalyn Joy Few and partner Normand Larose, both in their 60s, were riding down the Gap of Dunloe mountain pass when their carriage overturned.

The couple were reportedly thrown down a ravine onto rocky terrain below and died after they hit rocks.

“It’s a freak accident,” Flor Murphy, Killarney Garda’s superintendent, said on the Kerry Today program on Radio Kerry. “It’s a very sad tragedy, we don’t know why the horse and cart went off the road at that point, but all aspects will be looked at to determine that.”

Murphy added the emergency services diligently helped during the aftermath of the crash. A local doctor scaled the mountain to reach the couple but found the two were already dead. The driver of the carriage did not receive major injuries but the horse was badly hurt.

Few’s daughter, son-in-law and their two children were travelling with the couple in separate carriages and were safe.

“We are giving [the family] every assistance with the formalities here and in relation to repatriating the remains. We are helping them deal with the airlines, undertakers and the embassy,” Murphy said.

A source told local media the family, who are from Phoenix, Arizona, was “absolutely distraught” following the crash and the subsequent deaths.

The bodies of the two victims were recovered after an hour after they were located, Gerry Christie, a member of the Kerry Mountain Rescue.

“We’re used to watching happy tourists. This casts a huge cloud over things. It does cast a shadow in the Gap, but it casts a big shadow somewhere else in the world today,” Christie said, according to Irish Examiner reported.

Paul O-Neill, president of the local Chamber of Commerce, expressed his sadness over the crash saying the “whole town was in shock. We don’t know what happened. All we can do is support this family in any way we can."

Junior tourism minister Brendan Griffin said: “It is deeply upsetting to hear the news of the tragic accident that has claimed the lives of two tourists on holiday in Kerry. Everyone in Kerry is truly shocked and saddened... I want to offer my sympathies and condolences to the families of the victims.”