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Thursday 14 December 2017

Woman unscathed after railway crash

Pat Flynn

A woman had a lucky escape yesterday when her car crashed through a level crossing just seconds before a commuter train was scheduled to pass.

The incident occurred around 10.45am at the automated rail-crossing at Caherdaly, just 500 metres from the village of Ardrahan, Co Galway, on the main Ennis to Galway N18 road.

The elderly woman was travelling south towards Ardrahan in her Nissan Micra car when she was apparently blinded by the sun and did not see that the rail barriers had closed for the oncoming train.

Her car ploughed through the red-and-white aluminium gates, ripping the barriers off either side of the crossing.

The woman's car travelled for a further 100 metres before it came to a safe stop on the side of the road.

Though the windscreen of her car was destroyed, the woman was not injured.

As the train approached the location, the barriers had closed to allow it cross the busy N18 road. The train-driver was alerted to the incident ahead and brought it to a safe stop about 100 metres before the crossing.

After the alarm was raised, rail engineers went to the scene and checked that the line was clear of debris before the train was allowed to continue its journey.

Engineers then set about replacing the damaged barriers before the crossing returned to full service early in the afternoon. Train services were not affected by the accident, while motorists were only held up for a short time.

A garda interviewed the woman on the roadside before a recovery vehicle took the woman and her car away from the scene.

It is understood that the woman, who travels the route regularly, was temporarily blinded by the early morning sun before she ploughed through the barriers.

Gardai from Gort are investigating the incident. It was captured on CCTV.

Irish Independent

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