A motorist was forced to stop and jump from his car after it burst into flames on the M18 motorway near Barefield yesterday.
The black Mercedes car was travelling northbound on the M18 at around 12.45pm and was just a kilometre north of junction 13 at Ennis when the driver noticed smoke and flames coming from the font of his car.
He quickly pulled into the hard shoulder and abandoned his vehicle as the fire took hold in front of him.
The driver is understood to have called the nearby NRA motorway maintenance depot looking for a fire extinguisher but he was advised that he would have to call the fire brigade.
Three units of the fire brigade from Ennis arrived at the scene to find the vehicle ‘well alight’ and the driver standing nearby.
Fire crews set about tackling the blaze while another crew used a fire appliance to ‘fend’ off the slow lane to protect emergency services personnel from passing traffic.
One lane of the motorway was closed for almost an hour while fire crews, gardaí and motorway maintenance personnel dealt with the incident.
The driver was not injured in the incident but was said to have been left ‘shaken’. The northbound lane of the motorway reopened as soon as the vehicle had been removed from the scene.
It’s believed that fire was caused by an electrical issue.
In January a truck driver had a lucky escape when his vehicle caught fire as he drove along the M18.
The man had completed a delivery a short time earlier and was making his way towards Limerick along the M18 when he noticed the rear of his vehicle was on fire.
At the time, he was just a few hundred metres from a motorway rest area so he decided to continue on and pull in there.
He managed to jump from the cab before the entire vehicle was engulfed in flames.