Motorist 'lucky to walk away' from collision with Luas which left one injured
Luas line closed after female passenger injured in crash
Shocked bystanders said a car driver involved in a collision with a LUAS tram in Tallaght today was "lucky to walk away" from the incident.
The crash at the stop on the Red Line near the Tallaght Hospital around midday resulted in a section of the tram being derailed.
As a result, services in both directions on the Red Line were suspended as workers attempt to pry the mangled wreck of the car from a lamp post and tow the damaged tram back to base.
Local Peter Gannon, (62), who lives on Cookstown Way directly across from the crash site, said he was sitting at home when he "heard a big bang".
"I had a fair idea that something was wrong," he said.
He went out onto his ground-floor balcony and saw the wreckage just yards from his front window.
The Audi was wrapped around a light pole with the passenger side smashed in and resting at the passenger entrance to the tram.
Deployed airbags engulfed the driver's side of the car, which was also damaged.
Despite this, the driver looked no worse for wear, he said.
"I saw the driver and he looked okay to me," he said.
"He was very lucky to walk away from it.
"I'm just glad no one was seriously injured."
The male driver of the Audi A4 saloon car involved in the collision was also taken to hospital "as a precautionary measure," according to Transdev.
Service is not expected to resume for several hours as investigators from Luas operators Transdev, the gardai and the Commission for Railway Regulation examine the crash site.
Transfev could not say how many passengers were on board, but it's understood the tram was fairly empty as it had just begun its journey into town.
Meanwhile, a female passenger on board the tram was taken to hospital with suspected back injuries.
However, a Transdev spokeswoman said her injuries are not believed to be life-threatening.
His neighbours Jasminka Covic, (66) and her husband Vahid (68), said it was only a matter of time before there was a collision at the busy intersection.
"A lot of drivers turn right when the light (for the tram) is green going the other way."
"People have no patience to wait," added her husband.
"We're not surprised there was an accident."
The collision follows one in October in which eight people, including a three-month-old baby, were sent to hospital with non-life-threatening injuries following a collision between a LUAS Red Line tram and open-air tourist bus at the busy Smithfield stop on October 29.
The collision also took place at a controlled crossing.
An official statement on the Luas website reads: "Passengers,
"Please be advised that there is no service between Belgard and Tallaght. Trams only running from The Point/Connolly to Belgard/Saggart due to an incident on the Red Line. We apologise for any and all inconvenience caused.
"Green Line services operating normally.
"All lifts and escalators are in working order."
Anyone who witnessed the collision is asked to contact Tallaght Garda station on 01 6666000, the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111 or any Garda station.