Irish tourist couple die run down on pedestrian crossing

 ROME – Two middle aged Irish tourists died Thursday after being run over at a crossroads in the Eternal City in the latest of a rash of fatal road accidents claiming lives of tourists and locals in Italy, police said. Corriere della Sera newspaper said the two were killed while walking over a striped zebra crossing.

 The couple were identified as Mary and Paul O’Reilly, aged 60 and 59. The two  were crossing the road on the busy via Cristofero Colombo at the intersection with the via de Malafede when a Ford Fiesta driven by a 54-year-old Italian careened into them, killing both instantly, police sources added. The driver stopped after running down the two though Corriere della Sera said police were trying to determine if he had driven through a red traffic light.

The two had been staying at a camp site in the area and dashed across the road to try and catch a bus. Their deaths takes the total this year of pedestrians who have died in traffic accidents on the via Cristofero Colombo linking the centre to the EUR district to seven, making it the most dangerous street in Rome, la Repubblica newspaper reported.

 Italy has one of the worst road safety records in Europe.