Tuesday 26 September 2017

Three pensioners struck as car pursued by gardai

The scene of the crash where a stolen Hyundai car knocked down two local men ending up hitting a car in the grounds of Parteen Pitch and Putt club in Co. Clare just 3 kms north of Limerick city
The scene of the crash where a stolen Hyundai car knocked down two local men ending up hitting a car in the grounds of Parteen Pitch and Putt club in Co. Clare just 3 kms north of Limerick city
The scene of the crash where a stolen Hyundai car knocked down two local men ending up hitting a car in the grounds of Parteen Pitch and Putt club in Co. Clare just 3 kms north of Limerick city

Kathryn Hayes and Majella O'Sullivan

One of three pensioners seriously injured after they were struck by a car being pursued by the gardai has had to have his leg amputated.

The three men - all understood to be in their 70s - were hit in Parteen, Co Clare as they stood in a car park after enjoying a game of pitch and putt earlier in the day.

One of the victims lost a leg after he was pinned underneath a Hyundai Accent, which crashed into the men and two cars parked outside the course around 5pm.

The pensioners - named locally as Eric Ryan, Willie Barry and retired postman Dermot O'Brien - were returning to their cars from nearby Brown's pub when the Hyundai veered across the road and crashed into them as they were standing in the car park in front of two parked cars in the east Clare village, which is about a kilometre from the Limerick border.

The two men travelling in the Hyundai are believed to have been involved in a number of burglaries in nearby Doonas, Clonlara, Co Clare and were being pursued by a patrol car at the time of yesterday's collision.

Both men fled the scene across the pitch and putt course but one of them was arrested by gardai a short time later.

A massive garda search was continuing last night for the second man, as gardai worked to establish if the car they were using was stolen. Fireman had to use special cutting equipment to free the elderly pedestrian who was pinned underneath the Hyundai.

The two other victims who suffered less serious injuries have also been taken to University Hospital Limerick.

Niall Curtin (20) went to their aid and took his jacket off and placed it under one of the men's heads as they waited for emergency services. Parish Priest Fr Tom Connelly described the three as "lovely men" that used to come into Brown's pub for refreshments after a game of pitch and putt. They were not from Parteen but visited regularly and had been members of the club for several years, he said. It is believed they were from Limerick.

It is understood the three men had enjoyed a game of pitch and putt earlier and went for a drink in nearby Brown's pub before the horrific incident.

Witnesses

Three ambulances, a HSE rapid response car carrying a doctor, and three tenders from Limerick City & County Fire Service were alerted.

The Garda Siochana Ombudsman Commission last night confirmed it was investigating the incident and appealed for witnesses to the pursuit and the collision. Gsoc confirmed gardai had been in pursuit of a car that had been linked to an earlier incident.

Irish Independent

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