Boy (4) dies after horror crash as mum trapped in wreckage
A mother-of-three was trapped in the wreckage of a family car for an hour after being involved in a head-on collision that killed one of her two young sons.
Firefighters worked frantically for an hour to free Gillian Treacy after the car she was driving collided with a car outside Portarlington, Co Laois, at 8.20pm on Thursday.
Her younger son, Ciaran, died following the horrific crash. The four-year-old was a passenger with his older brother Sean (7) in the car.
Local people who arrived at the scene at Ballymorris managed to remove the two boys from the car but they were unable to remove the boys' mother from the vehicle. The driver of the other car suffered minor injuries and was later arrested at the scene.
A man who assisted at the scene said a mobile phone was given to the trapped woman who was able to speak to her husband Ronan, who was at home putting the couple's youngest child, Caoimhe, to bed. Mr Treacy went to the scene and was able to be with his wife as firefighters worked for up to an hour to cut her from the wreckage of the vehicle.
"The paramedics were very professional. One group worked on the youngest child, another group were with the older boy and others were helping their mother," said the eyewitness.
Local people and passing motorists were the first on the scene, about a mile outside Portarlington. "Two nurses and a care assistant were driving in the area and they were among the first to help . . . the people doing CPR work were heroic.
"There were three fire engines, three paramedics, three ambulances, three doctors and 20 firemen at the scene," the witness said.
Two HSE advance paramedics treated people at the scene and the ambulances then took them to Portlaoise and Tullamore hospitals.
The road was closed for an extended period to facilitate a forensic examination.
Gardai said last night that the woman's injuries were "not life-threatening." Her seven-year-old son's injuries were not serious.
The driver of the other car, a male travelling alone, was later released by gardai without charge and the investigation is ongoing.
Many people in Portarlington said yesterday the hearts of the whole community went out to the Treacy family in their loss.
"It's terrible this has happened to a young family. They're a lovely, decent family who've lost their child in the blink of an eye. The whole town is just flat after this," said one man.