Crash chaos Motorist who smashed into D4 bus at high speed was already banned
Eight people taken to hospital
A driver who allegedly sped away from gardaí before smashing into a bus, leaving eight people in hospital, was disqualified from driving, the Herald can reveal.
Investigations are continuing into Friday night's collision near the city centre involving the vehicle and a Dublin bus.
The Garda Ombudsman (Gsoc) is also examining the incident as the driver of the car involved had interacted with gardaí moments before the crash.
It is understood officers tried to speak with the man, who was with a female front-seat passenger, after noticing the car being driven suspiciously in the Pigeon House Road area.
However, the Nissan Almera sped away, and minutes later was involved in the collision nearby at the junction of Haddington Road and Northumberland Street.
The car was not being pursued at the time of the collision.
The crash left both occupants of the car and six people on the bus, including the driver, in hospital.
Sources said the car driver, a 28-year-old from the north inner city, is currently serving a ban. No arrests have yet been made.
Gardaí are also investigating if the Nissan drove through a red light at high speed before the collision.
"Forensic examinations of the scene have been carried out and what is known is that this car was travelling at high-speed when it smashed into the bus," the source said.
"CCTV will also play a role in this investigation to determine the exact course of events that took place, with gardaí and Gsoc carrying out their own enquiries.
The car driver was hospitalised in St Vincent's along with his passenger.
Emergency services responded to the scene at around 10.45pm on Friday.
"The scene was attended by Dublin Fire Brigade, Ambulance Service personnel and gardaí," a garda spokesperson said.
"A total of eight people were taken from the scene by ambulance to St Vincent's University Hospital, including both occupants of the car. Of those taken to hospital, it is understood that two passengers from the bus, both male, are in a serious condition."
The site remained sealed-off for several hours over the weekend as enquiries were carried out at the scene.
The garda watchdog's enquiries are focusing on the circumstances surrounding the interaction between the car driver and gardaí moments earlier.
It is the third examination by Gsoc of a car involved in a road crash after fleeing from gardaí at sped in the past few weeks.
Last Tuesday, it was called to the scene of a collision after a vehicle suspected of involvement in an earlier shooting tried to ram a garda car on the N4 dual-carriageway before overturning.
It followed reports of an incident in Finglas in which shots were fired at an unoccupied house before the vehicle sped away.
A short time later gardaí chased the car.
It is understood the Suzuki car tried to ram gardaí before flipping over.
Gsoc is still examining the circumstances around that incident before deciding whether to either launch a formal investigation.
The watchdog has also upgraded its inquiries in relation to a fatal collision in the Kingswood area on September 21.
On that occasion, a car failed to stop for gardaí after it was seen being driven suspiciously before speeding the wrong way along the N7 dual-carriageway and ploughing into a Toyota Yaris.
The Yaris was being driven by Anatolie Butucel (45), a Moldovan national, who was pronounced dead at the scene.
Following initial examinations into the earlier interaction between the suspect vehicle and gardaí, Gsoc decided to upgrade it to a formal investigation.
Gardaí at Irishtown are continuing to appeal for witnesses to Friday night's collision on Northumberland Road to come forward.
They are also appealing to those who may have camera footage, including dash-cam recordings, from the area at the time to make it available to them.