Three women and a ten-year-old girl have died after a road accident near Mullingar, Co Westmeath early this morning.

The crash happened near Portnashangan, just north of Mullingar on the main N4 Dublin to Sligo road.

Gardaí say a car and and a SUV collided on a straight stretch of road just after 7.30am.

The man who was driving the SUV was taken to Mullingar General Hospital with minor injuries.

The three women who died are believed to be in their late 30s or early 40s. 

They were travelling on the N4 in the direction of Dublin and the SUV was travelling in the opposite direction.

The deceased had all been living in the Longford area.

A major investigation is under way following the crash. 

The vehicles involved were a black 06 Kia Sorento and a gold-coloured 03 Nissan Almera.

Anyone who was travelling on the road between 7am and 8am this morning and noticed anything is asked to contact gardaí.