Pensioner dies after ambulance collision
AN elderly man who was being taken to hospital died yesterday after the ambulance he was travelling in collided with a car.
The collision happened on the busy N11 dual-carriageway in Cabinteely, south Dublin at about 12.50pm.
The man, who was in his 70s, was being transferred from a house on Johnstown Road in Cabinteely to St Vincent's Hospital.
A car heading in the Bray direction collided with the ambulance at the junction of Johnstown Road and the N11. Gardai suspect the ambulance may have gone through a red light as it rushed the man to hospital.
The patient was brought to St Vincent's in a critical condition, but died soon after arrival.
The motorist, the ambulance driver and a paramedic also received treatment but their injuries were minor.
Last night a HSE statement confirmed one of their ambulances was involved in the crash. A spokeswoman said the crew involved received minor injuries.
"Any road traffic collision involving an emergency vehicle is a serious event, and any investigations that are needed to identify the circumstances of this collision will be carried out without delay," it added.
Garda crash scene investigators closed the N11 for a time as they carried out technical examinations. Traffic was diverted for up to six hours.
Gardai are now waiting on the results of a post-mortem examination today to determine the man's exact cause of death.
The tragic event comes less than two months after a paramedic lost his life when he fell out the door of a moving ambulance in Co Cavan.
Father-of-six Simon Sexton's death resulted in three separate investigations being launched by the gardai, the HSE and the Health and Safety Authority (HSA).
The ambulance had left Cavan General Hospital to transfer a patient to Dublin, but Mr Sexton (43) fell out of the moving vehicle at Stradone, just outside Cavan town at around 4pm on Thursday, June 3.
It is believed that Mr Sexton had noticed that a side door in the ambulance was slightly ajar. He went to check it out, but fell from the moving vehicle on to the road. He suffered serious head injuries and died.
The tragedy was witnessed by another paramedic who was in the ambulance when the accident occurred. After the incident it was revealed that both the HSE and HSA had been told that door locks in some ambulances posed a serious risk to passengers.
However, in yesterday's incident both the patient and ambulance crew members remained in the vehicle.