independent

Monday 19 November 2018

Man pulled from vehicle before it burst into flames

Five hospitalised after two-car collision on N81 on Saturday

The crash scene on the N81
The crash scene on the N81
White crosses along the N81

Deborah Coleman

Five people were taken to hospital following a serious traffic collision on the N81 on Saturday night.

The incident, which involved two cars, occurred at Ballysize, Hollywood at approximately 9 p.m.

A garda spokesperson confirmed that the driver of one car, a man in his 40s, was taken to Tallaght Hospital with serious injuries.

The driver of the other car, who is aged in their late teens, and three passengers, all aged in their twenties, were taken to Naas Hospital with minor injuries.

The scene was attended by ambulance services from Tallaght, Baltinglass and Athy, as well Blessington Fire Brigade.

According to a report by Tallaght Ambulance, the driver of one of the cars was the subject of a dramatic rescue as he was removed from the vehicle unconscious just moments before it burst into flames.

'The driver of this car owes his life to the passing motorists that pulled him unconscious from the wreckage as it burst into flames,' the Twitter post stated.

A Garda spokesperson did not comment on this, but confirmed that one of the cars went on fire after the crash.

Saturday's crash happened in the same week that the N81 Action Group began erecting white crosses along the road to highlight how dangerous it is.

The group, which was formed after a planned upgrade to the N81 from Hollywood Cross to Tallaght was suspended indefinitely, has erected 30 of 80 planned crosses along the roadside.

The action comes following a recent meeting with Minister Shane Ross, which the group feels did not succeed in setting out a firm timeline or commitment for the long-awaited N81 upgrade.

Committee chairperson Cllr Gerry O'Neill said that the action group is 'upping its campaign' by erecting the crosses.

'There are approximately 82 people who have died along the N81 over the past 35 years or so. In reality, the figure is higher as some people died in hospitals as a result of crashes and their location is not recorded as the N81,' he said.

Cllr O'Neill said that the Minister and Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) appear to 'have taken a step backwards'.

'Minister Shane Ross showed little interest and gave no indication of a new N81 in the near future. In fact, both the Minister and the TII have taken a step backwards and are now saying the review in 2027 might mean a new 'agreed route'.

'What this means is the €8 million they have spent on the study on the present agreed route might be scrapped, that the 31 km from Tallaght to Hollywood and the landowners on the 300 metre wide strip of land which was frozen in 2016 will remain in limbo,' he said.

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