Driver remains in hospital following collision

Driver remains in hospital following collision

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The Ford Mondeo car that was abandoned at the scene of yesterday’s collision near Tulla – © Pat Flynn 2014

One motorist has been left seriously injured in hospital while another man fled the scene of a collision in Co Clare early yesterday.

The two-vehicle collision happened at around 7.20am at a junction where several serious crashes have previously occurred including one fatal incident in 2008.

In yesterday’s incident, a man in his 60’s, recently recovered from open-heart surgery, was driving to work and about to turn off the main R352 road at Pappy’s Cross less than a kilometre from Tulla.

A silver Ford Mondeo travelling from the Tulla direction collided with the blue Volkswagen can in the middle of the junction of the main road from Ennis to East Clare road.

Both vehicles ended up to 20 metres from the point of impact with the Ford remaining on the main road while the van came to a stop on a side road.

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The van that was struck by a car at Pappy’s Cross near Tulla early yesterday – © Pat Flynn 2014

The battery was ripped out of the Mondeo in the collision and was discovered another 20 metres away.

Fire crews, gardaí and an ambulance rushed to the scene where emergency workers discovered the driver of the van trapped in his vehicle. When they checked the Ford car however, there was no sign of the driver.

While fire crews and paramedics were dealing with injured driver, two locals arrived on the scene and advised them that they had seen a man covered in blood a short distance away.

Gardaí quickly commenced a search of the area but there was no sign of the man. It’s now believed that man got a lift from the area.

A short time later a man presented himself at the Ennis General Hospital from where he was transferred to University Hospital Limerick for further treatment.

Gardaí were alerted and travelled to the hospital where they remained with the man until he was seen by doctors. Investigating officers are trying to establish whether this was the man who fled the scene of the collision.

Gardaí had to wait until the suspect was deemed medically fit to be questioned and late last night he was arrested. He’s being questioned at Killaloe garda station in connection with the incident.

The road remained closed for most of the day while a forensic examination was undertaken.

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The vehicles were removed from the scene for a technical examination – © Pat Flynn 2014

It’s known the the critically injured driver worked as a contractor for Clare County Council and was travelling to a council yard nearby at the time. He underwent surgery at University Hospital in Limerick yesterday afternoon.

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Chief Reporter Pat Flynn has worked as a journalist for almost 30 years. His career began during the late 1980s when, like many aspiring radio presenters of the time, he worked for local pirate radio stations in Clare and Limerick. Pat joined Clare FM in 1990 where he worked as researcher initially and later presented several different programmes including the station's flagship current affairs programme. He was also the station's News Editor and Deputy Controller of Programmes. Despite leaving in 2003 to pursue a career as a freelance journalist, he continues to work with the station to this day. As well as being the Clare Herald’s Chief Reporter Pat is also freelance journalist and broadcaster, contributing to Ireland’s national newspapers and is a regular contributor to national broadcasters.

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