Friday 15 December 2017

Garda injured after being rammed by stolen van in high speed chase

Ralph Riegel

Ralph Riegel

A GARDA traffic corps motorcyclist is recovering from multiple injuries after being rammed by a stolen van during a high-speed chase.

Gardai admitted it was a miracle no-one was killed after the stolen Peugeot van rammed the garda motorcycle and a patrol car before driving the wrong way along the busy Cork-Limerick dual-carriageway.

At one point over 20 garda were involved in the hunt for the van.

The garda’s motorcycle was crushed after it was struck by the fleeing van after he bravely attempted to stop traffic on the Mallow Road to protect commuters.

Luckily, the garda was thrown clear and he avoided life-threatening injuries.

However, he suffered injuries to his leg and back as well as multiple cuts and abrasions.

Concerned pedestrians and motorists tended the garda lying injured in the middle of the road before garda units and a Health Service Executive (HSE) ambulance arrived at the scene.

The garda is expected to be discharged from Cork University Hospital (CUH) after precautionary tests.

The incident began shortly before 9am (Friday) when gardai became suspicious of a white Peugeot van in the Douglas area of Cork’s southside.

The vehicle matched the description of a van stolen from MacCurtain Street in Cork on Thursday evening.

It also matched the description a vehicle being sought in connection with a number of robberies around Cork.

However, the van sped off when approached by uniformed gardai towards Cork city centre.

Officers followed the van at a safe distance but the van then rammed a squad car at Parnell Place before colliding with three stationary cars as it sped off towards Blackpool in the Limerick direction.

After ramming the garda motorcyclist, the van drove towards Rathduff on the old Mallow Road before speeding back towards Cork city on the main Cork-Limerick Road, driving in the wrong direction on the dual-carriageway.

During the 20 minute chase, the van’s driver managed to evade a number of garda ‘stinger’ vehicle immobiliser traps.

However, near Killeens a number of garda units skilfully managed to box in the van and bring it to a safe halt before it could reach the busy city centre.

Two occupants, both in their late 20s, jumped out of the van.

The passenger was arrested at the scene but the driver fled on foot over nearby fields.

He was arrested a short time later at Lower Killeens.

Both men were arrested under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act and taken to Gurranabraher Garda Station for questioning where they can be held for 24 hours.

Gardai under Supt Con Cadogan will now prepare a file for the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).

Cork Joint Policing Committee (CJPC) member, Jerry Buttimer TD (FG), said it was “an appalling incident that once again underlines the fact that gardai put their lives on the line every day in keeping our towns and cities safe.”

Irish Independent

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