Mum tried desperately to save son from being driven to his death
A mother-of-two desperately fought to save her son from being driven to his death after she was stabbed in her family home.
Jodie Power (26) from Oola, Co Limerick, is recovering in hospital after she was stabbed in an assault by her ex-partner Marco Velocci as he attempted to take their son yesterday morning. Minutes after he left her house, Mr Velocci and his son Alex (3) were killed in a horrific head-on crash with a truck near Brooks Bridge, Limerick.
Gardaí are now investigating if Mr Velocci "deliberately drove" into the truck in a suspected murder-suicide.
According to sources, Mr Velocci arrived at the house of his former partner, Ms Power, at about 8am yesterday.
Mr Velocci became involved in an argument with Ms Power - who is also a mother to a nine-month-old baby - and attempted to take his three-year-old son Alex from the house.
"It appears as if Ms Power did everything she could to stop him from leaving and a struggle ensued," a source said.
During the struggle, Ms Power's arm was broken and she received a number of stab wounds. Mr Velocci (28) then left the property with Alex in his black 2005 Audi.
Ms Power contacted the emergency services, informing them her son had been "abducted" and she had been injured, sources said.
Gardaí and emergency services rushed to Ms Power's home. On their way to the house, they came across the scene of the fatal crash that claimed the lives of Mr Velocci and his son.
Both were pronounced dead at the scene.
Last night, officers were hoping to speak to witnesses to determine what caused the fatal road smash at Brooks Bridge between Pallasgreen and Oola on the Limerick-to-Tipperary stretch of the N24 at 8.30am yesterday.
A male motorcyclist who witnessed the fatal collision was too distressed to make a statement. It's understood the driver of the truck was also inconsolable and was treated for shock.
Sources said that Mr Velocci, who worked as a plumber, was "not himself" over the weekend. He was due to attend work on Monday but he didn't show up.
It is believed he was also due to work yesterday morning and made contact to say that he was on his way.
Ms Power rents a modest 1950s bungalow at Glebe, Oola, where she lived with her two sons. She had been separated from Mr Velocci for more than a year, neighbours said.
Gardaí have yet to speak to Ms Power, as she required surgery at University Hospital Limerick.
Ms Power's family - her parents Elizabeth and Perry, from Oola, and two brothers James and Perry Jnr - were being comforted by family and friends last night.
Her brother James, who lives in Australia was "on a plane home", a neighbour said.
Mr Velocci's father, Onorio, is a well-known Italian native, who has worked all his life in chip shops in Limerick City.
Marco Velocci, who was a member of the Emily Lattin- Cullen Oola (ELCO) gun club, was originally from Oola, but had been living in Lattin, Co Tipperary.
Paying tribute, his best friend Jonathan Ryan said: "He was fierce kind-hearted. There was no badness whatsoever in the man, nothing like that. I'm shellshocked by it
"He was a very quiet, genuine person. He never had a bad word to say about anyone. He kept to himself."
Philip Ryan, who lives just a couple of doors away from where the alleged stabbing took place, described the area as a "small and quiet community".
Local Fianna Fáil councillor Noel Gleeson described the road where the collision took place as a busy stretch.
"It's an awful tragedy. We read about these tragedies in the paper every day, there is no answer to them really," he said.
"It is a terrible tragedy... and my condolences are with them."