Thousands of cars forced off M50 after smash
More than 28,000 vehicles were forced off the country's busiest road following a collision that left a woman seriously injured.
Gardai were forced to close one of the busiest sections of Dublin's M50 for more than six hours following the crash, which caused traffic chaos across the capital.
There were delays of up to 90 minutes from key commuter towns into the city during the morning peak, with knock-on delays across large parts of the road network.
Thousands of vehicles were re-routed on to minor roads and through the Dublin Port Tunnel after the M50 was closed at Junction 7 (Lucan) southbound after the crash that happened at 5.30am.
The injured woman driver, aged 47, who was the sole occu- pant of the car, was taken to Tallaght Hospital after a collision involving her vehicle and two trucks. She had to be cut from the wreckage by rescue crews from Dublin Fire Brigade.
It is understood the woman is in a critical condition. The two male truck drivers, aged 33 and 47, were uninjured.
"Because of the magnitude of the collision and the surroundings, a major garda forensic examination was undertaken which resulted in the closure of the M50.
Diversions were put in place to facilitate all traffic," a spokesman said.
"Investigating gardaí are appealing for witnesses or anyone with information to contact them at Lucan Garda Station on 01 6667300, the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666111 or any garda station."
The section of the road that was closed is among the busiest in Dublin, with traffic data from Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TTI) showing that almost 134,000 vehicles use it every day.
Between 5am and 11am last Wednesday, 29,237 vehicles travelled along it. Only 1,228 vehicles used it during the same period yesterday.
"It did frustrate motorists that the road was closed for so long. To be fair to the emergency services, they do have to be given time to do their work," said AA spokesman Conor Faughnan.
"It does highlight how vulner- able Dublin is. We would be naive to think we would get through the winter without something like this happening again, whether flooding or a truck shedding its load."
He said more public transport services are needed to remove cars from the road.
A spokesman for TII said that the midweek period was among the busiest times to travel on the M50.