Driver battling for his life after five-vehicle crash
A LORRY driver was battling for his life in hospital last night following a five-vehicle crash.
Emergency crews worked to free the seriously injured driver from the lorry, which had overturned, spilling its load of sand across the busy N4 route near Mullingar, Co Westmeath.
It is believed the driver remained trapped in the cab for almost an hour at the scene of the crash, which occurred after 9.30am yesterday on the Longford side of the Castlepollard exit of the N4.
The man was taken to the Midland Regional Hospital, Mullingar, where his condition last night was described as critical.
A number of other people were also taken to the emergency department of the hospital for assessment. A health service spokeswoman said their injuries were not believed to be serious.
Gardai in Mullingar confirmed that the crash had involved two lorries and three cars. The road remained sealed off for much of yesterday as forensic crash investigators tried to determine exactly how the crash occurred.
Traffic was directed along the old Longford Road out of Mullingar, which caused traffic tailbacks of around 30 minutes.
It is believed the lorry, which was travelling westbound, may have been in collision with another lorry going in the opposite direction. A further three cars were then involved in the collision as the two lorries tried to stop.
Last month, road safety chiefs marked the lowest number of road deaths since records first started to be kept in the 1950s. There were 11 lives lost during March.
The Road Safety Authority has noted a steady drop since 2006 in the number of road deaths.
So far this year, 45 people have died on the roads, including 17 pedestrians, 22 drivers and six passengers. This compares with 59 in the same period last year.