independent

Sunday 20 April 2014

Mum's horror as truck narrowly misses house after jack-knifing

An articulated truck narrowly missed the home of Niall Kavanagh and Rosaleen O’Kane. Photo: Michael Scully

A MOTHER of three has spoken of her horror after a massive articulated lorry came crashing through her garden, narrowly avoiding hitting her family home.

The lorry came to a halt just three feet from the house after jack-knifing and ploughing through the garden.

"I got the fright of my life when I came home. I was in Newbridge shopping with my daughters, and I had just dropped them off at my mothers, when I saw the blue lights at my gate," said Rosaleen O'Kane.

She initially feared the worst for her husband Niall Kavanagh and 11-year-old son Padraig, who were in the family home at Kilmullen Road, Portarlington, Co Laois, when the accident happened on Saturday afternoon.

But a decision by her husband to get the fire going before leaving the house probably saved them.

"My husband and son were in the kitchen, and they were going to go out and set up a fence for the puppy that my son got for Christmas. They were literally about to go out, but my husband decided to get the fire going first.

"Minutes later, this lorry veered in through the 20ft trees and concrete wall at the front," she explained.

Despite the driver of the truck making his best efforts to regain control of the vehicle, it crashed through the garden -- taking with it road signs, trees and children's toys.

"It's devastation looking out at it now. Coming home Saturday evening and seeing the lorry there, it was just unbelievable."

Rosaleen and her husband built their family home along the R419 road, known locally as the Kilmullen Road, close to Portarlington town.

She said that the road was known for its notoriously bad bends, despite the heavy volume of traffic which passes along it everyday.

"The road from Kilmullen Bridge has a lot of bends on it -- apparently there are 4,700 vehicles that go past here every day."

She added that this incident wasn't the first collision to occur outside her home.

"There have been a lot of accidents, and I have reported them all to the council. There was one week in March where there was six accidents on one particular morning."

Local area representative, Councillor Paul Mitchell, said he was "absolutely horrified" to hear about this latest accident, and that the county council was aware of the dangers on that stretch of road.

"The council have done a small bit of work on it lately -- they resurfaced one area, and they put down these rumble strips and extra signage.

"The county council do know about it, and they are working on it."

He said that it was "luck" that nobody was killed, and revealed that the council have applied for funding to work on it, and is hopeful that this will be granted in the new year.

Irish Independent

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