Saturday 20 January 2018

Three gardai and two men escape horror crash as car lands on 4x4

Barry Duggan

FIVE men -- including three garda officers -- had a miraculous escape following a road crash when an oncoming car crashed onto the roof of a garda 4x4.

The collision occurred at around 11pm on Saturday night at a notorious blackspot on the N69 route in Limerick where a fireman and garda lost their lives in 2007.

Three members of the traffic corps -- Aidan O'Gorman, Jeff Kenny and Adrian Nevin -- were travelling from Foynes towards Askeaton in a garda vehicle when they came upon another car -- believed to be a Volkswagen Passat -- travelling in the opposite direction at Barrigone.

It is believed the driver of the Passat lost control of his car and it flew through the air, before crashing into the oncoming garda car.

The car ended up on the roof of the garda land cruiser, but nobody in either vehicle suffered any serious injuries. The traffic corps officers -- based in Limerick -- were on routine patrol at the time.

On the morning of February 25, 2007, Garda Brian Kelleher (46) and fireman Michael Liston (47) were killed when they were knocked down by a car while they worked at the scene of a single-vehicle road accident at the same location.

Almost five years on, colleagues of both deceased men had to return to the same spot to help the three garda officers and the two other men on Saturday night.

All five men were treated at the scene and brought by ambulance to the Mid-Western Regional Hospital in Limerick for further care. None of their injuries are life-threatening.

The scene on the busy N69 route remained closed overnight until 6am yesterday morning. Following the collision, one emergency worker said it was a "very harrowing experience". Both cars were extensively damaged.

The Garda Ombudsman is investigating the circumstances surrounding the accident as a garda vehicle was involved.

Anyone with information can contact the office of the Garda Ombudsman on 1890-600-800.

Meanwhile, a 19-year-old woman died following a single-vehicle crash in Galway city early on Saturday. The accident happened near the entrance to Westside Shopping Centre at around 3.30am when the car struck a wall.

Mary Davey, from Coldwood, Craughwell, Co Galway, was the driver of the car. Two passengers -- a 21-year-old man and 18-year-old woman -- were taken to nearby University Hospital Galway for treatment for non-life threatening injuries.

Ms Davey's family returned from England nine years ago and settled in Coldwood.

A former pupil of Coldwood NS and Athenry Vocational School, she had been working in Cyprus for a few months after completing her Leaving Certificate in June.

She is survived by her father Francis, her mother Cathy, her older brother John and her younger brother Eoin.

Athenry parish priest Fr Tony King said: "People in the area are really upset by Mary's death."

Irish Independent

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