Pensioner crashes car on way to NCT

Pensioner crashes car on way to NCT

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Photo: © Pat Flynn 2015
The scene of yesterday’s collision at Paradise Hill, Ballynacally – Photo: © Pat Flynn 2015

An elderly woman is recovering in hospital after she lost control of her car on a notorious hill while on her way to an NCT test.

The woman in her 70’s was driving from Kildysart, Co Clare towards Ennis when her car skidded in greasy conditions at Paradise Hill near Ballynacally.

The steep and winding stretch of road has been the scene of many collisions over the years including one last November when a truck left the road and crashed down an embankment.

The latest collision happened at around midday yesterday close to the top of the hill a short distance from Ballynacally village and about 22 kilometres from Ennis.

The pensioner’s blue Ford Fiesta car appeared to lose traction on the road surface as she commenced her descent of Paradise Hill.

The car crossed the road in front of oncoming traffic before mounting the ditch and flipping over onto it’s roof leaving the driver and sole occupant trapped upside down in her seat by her safety belt.

Three units of the fire brigade from Ennis along with an ambulance and advanced paramedic (AP) rapid response vehicle (RRV) responded to the incident.

Gardaí quickly closed the road to prevent any further collisions and to allow emergency services personnel work in a safe environment.

Fire crews were able to respond within a minute of being alerted as they were already at their Ennis station where they had been involved in a training course.

On arrival, emergency crews found the woman trapped in the upturned vehicle with few apparent injuries.

Photo: © Pat Flynn 2015
A fire officer assesses the scene before the car can be safely removed – Photo: © Pat Flynn 2015

Fire personnel and paramedics assisted the woman from the vehicle and assessed her before she was taken to University Hospital Limerick for treatment.

Locals in Ballynacally have complained in recent weeks about the greasy road surface blaming diesel from passing trucks working in the area.

However, there was no evidence of diesel or oil on the road in the area of yesterday’s collision.

While the surface was quite greasy under foot, it’s believed this was because what little rain there has been, failed to wash away salt and grit laid down during recent cold spells.

The road remained closed for almost two hours while emergency crews dealt with the incident and the car was safely removed from the ditch.

Clare County Council road maintenance staff were also requested to attend to treat the hill before the road could be declared safe to reopen.

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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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