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.
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.
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.