Tuesday 24 October 2017

Good Samaritan let a young crash victim take shelter in his car - which was then cut to pieces by rescue workers

Stopping to help cost him thousands of euro, but he says he'd do it again

How Paul's car ended up
How Paul's car ended up

Gerry Hand and Ian Begley

A 'Good Samaritan' who stopped to help a distressed teenage girl who had been injured in a car crash has been left thousands of euro out of pocket after rescue crews were forced to dismantle his car.

Paul Egan (52), from Sligo, came upon the scene of the accident in Keshcarrigan, Co Leitrim, last Thursday.

He found an 18-year-old from Drumshanbo wandering in the middle of the road after her friend's car crashed into a wall.

"The girl was standing in the road in floods of tears, I could see where the car was embedded in the wall, so naturally I got out to try and assist, and as it was raining I went over and helped her walk into my car to get some shelter," Mr Egan said.

Gardaí, fire brigade and ambulance crews arrived within 15 minutes. But then things started to go rapidly downhill for luckless Mr Egan.

"One of the ambulance men pulled me aside and said that they may have to cut her out of my car, I thought he was joking at first, because after all she had walked over to it," he said. "About half an hour later they got sheets out to cover around the car and I had to then stand there getting soaked and watch them take the boot out, remove all four doors, and then finally, incredibly, they cut the roof off and a helicopter lifted her out through that."

Since the incident, things have gone from bad to worse for the man who was only doing a good deed.

"My own insurance have offered me €2,750 to write my own car off, but have also told me that when I come to renew with them they will treat it as if I have made a claim due to having an accident which I certainly haven't done," he said.

Paul Egan, whose car was written off after the boot was taken out, all four doors were removed and the roof cut off Photo: James Connolly
Paul Egan, whose car was written off after the boot was taken out, all four doors were removed and the roof cut off Photo: James Connolly

"The legal advice I have been given is that in these situations the emergency services have virtually carte blanche to do what they want to get the person from the car safely, and are not obliged to pay me compensation."

Mr Egan, who works for the HSE, has now hired a car as a temporary measure. He is adamant he'd do the same again.

"I have teenage daughters myself and I'd be hoping someone would look after them if they had a problem," he said.

"The mother of the 18-year-old girl rang me last week to give me her thanks, but honestly I didn't think twice about it. If a similar scenario happened to me again I would of course do the same thing. However, I never expected to go from a hardtop to a soft top."

Mr Egan said that he was convinced that he was 'Ireland's unluckiest man'.

But his luck may be about to change - when local web designer Leon Quinn, from Carrick-on-Shannon, heard of his plight, he set up a fundraising page at https://www.youcaring.com/paulegan-754041

It has already raised more than €500.

Irish Independent

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