‘Patience and extreme caution needed’ - After horror road tragedy all road users urged to be on their guard as farming activities ratchet up
All road users to be on their guard as farming activities ratchet up and in the wake of a horror accident involving a tractor over the bank holiday weekend.
A 39-year-old man died after the van he was driving collided head-on with a tractor on a rural road in north Cork around 1pm yesterday.
His 15-year-old daughter, a passenger in the van, was last night fighting for her life, while a 17-year-old boy, a family friend, also suffered serious injuries in the crash.
In a tragic twist, it has emerged that the man's partner was following behind in a car and came across the scene just moments after the collision.
The driver of the van was pronounced dead at the scene. He and the teenagers are all from the Mallow area.
It took emergency services around two hours to cut the injured teenagers from the van, such was the damage caused by the crash.
They were then airlifted to the GAA pitch at Bishopstown in Cork city before being transferred by ambulance to Cork University Hospital (CUH). Emergency services including gardaí, ambulances, paramedics and Rescue Helicopter 112 attended the scene.
The driver of the tractor, a man aged in his late 20s, was not injured in the crash.
A man in the nearby market town Buttevant said the area was in "shock" following the tragic incident.
Irish Cattle and Sheep Association rural development chairman Seamus Sherlock has highlighted that it’s a busy time on farms and there are increased numbers of tractors and other farm machinery using the roads.
Patience as well as extreme caution must be exercised by everybody using the roads,” he said.
Mr Sherlock also implored farmers to pay close attention to farm safety.
“Silage cutting and slurry spreading are in full swing and farms are a hive of activity
“We are asking farmers to think about safety at all times and never to take unnecessary risks where machinery and equipment are concerned.
“Slurry gas is also a silent killer and extremely dangerous. Slatted tank agitating points should not be left open for any longer than necessary.
“Farmers also need to be very careful to have proper PTO shafts in place on slurry and silage equipment. It only takes a split second lapse in concentration for accidents to happen, sometimes with tragic and fatal consequences.”
Mr Sherlock said that after one of the longest winters in living memory, many farmers are still trying to cope with the financial ramifications and stress associated with dealing with nine months of challenging conditions.
“It will take more than a few sunny days for farmers who experienced the perfect storm to recover. However, safety must be a priority at all times; it’s a busy time but let’s make it a safe and happy time for everyone,” he said.