Bus driver jumps into stream to pull woman from car
A PASSING bus driver jumped into a stream to pull a trapped woman from her car after it left the road and overturned yesterday afternoon.
The single-vehicle collision happened shortly before 4pm near Kilnamona on the main N85 Ennis to Ennistymon road in Co Clare.
The woman, in her 60s, is understood to have been driving from Ennis in the direction of Ennistymon when she lost control of her Toyota Avensis car, which crashed down a 10-foot embankment and overturned onto its roof. The woman was trapped in her car, which began to fill with water.
A bus driver, who had been passing at the time, climbed down into the stream and managed to free the woman from the overturned vehicle. However, the woman remained in the stream until emergency services arrived.
A rapid-response advanced paramedic unit was at the scene within minutes and the paramedic quickly climbed down the muddy bank to check the woman. The paramedic examined the woman and remained with her until the fire service arrived. The woman's car had narrowly avoided crashing head-on into a bridge which crossed the stream.
Firefighters quickly deployed ladders to reach the woman and the medic and helped them from the water. The woman was treated at the scene before being removed to hospital by ambulance. Her condition is not said to be serious.
One rescuer said: "The stream was only about six feet wide and two feet deep where the car landed, but we've been to accidents in this area before where whole fields were flooded and the stream was more like a river.
"If the water had been any higher, it could have been a lot worse -- and if it had happened at night, a car could be there until morning before anyone would notice it."
A passing motorist said: "I saw the bus driver climb down into the stream and it was only then I saw the car. If she was going any faster she would have hit the bridge as well.
"One of the ambulance lads stayed with her until the fire brigade arrived. If it had happened in the middle of winter, the water would have been way higher."
The main N85 was closed for almost an hour while emergency services dealt with the incident.
Fire crews used a crane to remove the vehicle from the water before the road reopened again shortly after 5pm.