Four-year-old girl cheats death as truck lands on her dad's van
THE family of a little girl who cheated death when an articulated truck toppled over on to her father's van has pleaded with the authorities to stop heavy lorries using the motorway slipway where the near tragedy occurred.
Quick-thinking Alanna White (4) had a miracle escape after she spotted the truck begin to topple over on to the van in which she was travelling beside her father, Joe.
The brave little passenger quickly unbuckled her seat belt and jumped into her father's lap as the truck toppled over, crushing the side of the van where she had just been sitting.
"I could have lost the two of them, that's the sickening part about it," Alanna's mother and Joe's partner, Linda Codd, told the Irish Independent last night.
The accident happened around 5pm last Thursday on the N7 slip road at Clondalkin where a sharp bend brings motorists on to the M50 motorway.
"As far as we are concerned, there's no way we'll use the M50 again," said Linda.
The relieved mother said people were amazed that such a young child could have the presence of mind to do what she did by jumping out of the way to save herself.
"She's grand now but nighttime is hardest because she doesn't want to be on her own."
Alanna's grandmother, Anne Codd, contacted RTE's 'Liveline' to tell listeners about her granddaughter's miracle escape and to highlight the dangers of trucks using the slipway.
"Alanna just said 'the green thing (the truck) was falling on me'," Anne recalled. "She unclipped herself and literally leapt into her daddy's lap. She only had a bruise on her hip and a slight bruise on her arm after it."
The little girl's aunt, Tiny Reilly, has now launched a safety campaign to highlight the dangers of the slipway and to hopefully stop heavy trucks from using it and will be contacting the National Roads Authority.
"There have been three previous accidents on the slipway, two of them involving trucks. It shouldn't be left for someone to be killed or crushed to death for something to be done," she said.