Toddler survives crash which killed grandmother
A BOOSTER seat was credited last night with saving the life of a toddler whose grandmother was killed in a horrific head-on collision with an articulated lorry.
The grandmother -- named locally as Margaret Lees (65) -- died at the scene of the accident on the main N72 Fermoy-Mallow road in north Cork.
The accident occurred shortly after 10am at Rea's Cross between Castletownroche and Killavullen on a notoriously winding section of road.
Mrs Lees -- who was driving the car with her three-year-old granddaughter as a back seat passenger -- suffered multiple injuries in the collision.
The dead woman, who lived at Quarterstown in Mallow, was believed to have been treating her granddaughter to a day out when the tragedy occurred.
Miraculously, the three-year-old girl escaped serious injury -- with rescue officials crediting the fact that she was travelling in the back and was securely strapped into a booster seat.
"It was a miracle the little girl survived. If she had not been strapped into the booster seat in the rear of the car, her chances of survival would have been far less," Garda Supt Pat McCarthy said.
The toddler -- who was deeply traumatised by the accident - was taken to Cork University Hospital (CUH) but her injuries are not life-threatening.
The driver of the lorry, which had a full trailer load of grain, was uninjured but was treated at the scene for shock.
Such was the force of the collision that both vehicles smashed through a ditch, plunged down an incline and ended up in a field.
The accident occurred on a stretch of road that has witnessed several serious accidents over the past five years.
Gardai closed the Fermoy-Mallow road due to accident debris and put diversions in place.
A heavy crane was being awaited last night to remove the wrecked lorry.
Supt McCarthy urged motorists to avoid the area.
Local Fine Gael TD Tom Barry, said people were deeply shocked by the accident and that the condition of the N72 would be raised with Transport Minister Leo Varadkar at a special meeting later this month.