Driver escapes injury as car catches fire

Driver escapes injury as car catches fire


Photo: © Pat Flynn 2015
Fire crews tackle the car fire near Barefield – Photo: © Pat Flynn 2015

A driver managed to jump to safety from his car after it burst into flames on a motorway slip-road in Co Clare on Wednesday night.

The sole occupant of the car escaped uninjured but the Ford Focus was quickly engulfed in flames and was destroyed.

The incident happened at around 10pm on the slip-road onto junction 14 on the M18 in Co Clare. The car was travelling from Barefield onto the motorway and was just 100 metres from entering the M18 when it caught fire.

The male driver managed to bring the car to a safe stop on the side of the road before exiting and calling the emergency services.

Four units of the fire brigade from Ennis responded to the call which was first reported to be on the M18. However, on arrival in the area of junction 14, fire crews spotted the car on the road below the interchange close to the access point to the motorway.

The fire also spread into the shrubbery on the road side but was quickly brought under control.

It’s understood the man was driving home to Tulla via the M18 where he would have turned off at junction 13. The fire happened just before he entered the motorway at Barefield.

The driver could only look on as his car was engulfed by fire. It’s believed the blaze started in the engine area.

The filter road onto the M18 from Barefield was closed until the car could be removed from the scene.

National Roads Authority (NRA) maintenance crews were also called out to assess the impact to traffic and any damage that may have been caused to the road surface.

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.