Two of three Irish men who allegedly hijacked a taxi in Dublin were killed after immediately crashing the car.
Taxi driver Matthew Ilori told the Irish Independent that three men held him at knife point in the early Monday, grabbing him by the back of the neck and threatening to stab him before stealing his taxi.
“The very first thing I thought was get out and free myself and run away for my life,” Ilori told the website.
Suspect Daniel Lynch, 23, was allegedly driving the hijacked vehicle when he tried to overtake a semi-trailer truck as two lanes merged in to one going across a bridge. Lynch crashed the car, throwing it into a violent spin and scattering debris all across the road. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
According to the Irish Independent, Lynch had found out he was going to be a father earlier that day.
“Danny just let everything go. We can’t even take it in," brother Wayne Lynch told the Herald.
Dylan Lacey, also in his early 20s, was rushed to a hospital but pronounced dead only hours later, the Irish Times reported.
The Irish Mirror reported Lacey was the nephew of former Dublin Lord Mayor Dermont Lacey, who said he felt helpless when news came through of his nephew's death.
The third unidentified man is currently recovering in the hospital from minor injuries. Investigators say Lynch was speeding at the time of the crash, and all three men were drunk.
In a bizarre twist, a man claiming to be the third suspect in the hijacking called into the radio show of Irish journalist Adrian Kennedy under a pseudonym to defend himself.
"I want to say me and one of the fellas, we hadn't got a clue that taxi was being robbed," the man told Kennedy on Irish radio station FM104. "We went in with all intention of paying for it...but he went mad at the last minute and put his hands around the [taxi driver's] throat."
It is unclear which suspect the man was referring to. The man said that they had been drinking at a pub earlier in the evening.
Earlier in the same program, Kennedy received a call form a woman claiming to be a friend of two of the alleged hijackers. Arguing with another caller, she urged sympathy of the deceased.
“I understand [what they did] was a bad thing, but my point is at the end of the day its only a car," the woman, who gave her name as Hannah, said. "[This caller] has no right to say the third fella should be dead.”
President of the Irish Taxi Drivers’ Federation John Ussher said the incident had been a terrible ordeal for taxi driver Ilori, a father of three.
"All any taxi driver wants is to go out to work at night time, get a night’s wages and return home safe to his family but unfortunately in the present climate that is not always possible,” Ussher said. He added that a car-jacking deprives a taxi driver of his livelihood, and noted that drivers have no automatic entitlement to social welfare, because they are self-employed.
Authorities are still investigating the case and calling for anyone with information to come forward.