Poor weather conditions prevented two helicopters from responding to a serious road traffic collision in Co Clare this morning.
An elderly woman was seriously injured and left trapped in her car for almost two hours following the two-vehicle crash near Doonbeg.
The pensioner, understood to be in her 80’s, was left badly trapped in her Toyota car following the smash with a van. The van driver sustained minor injuries.
The crash happened at around 8.10am at a junction on the N67 Kilkee to Lahinch road at Clohanes.
Units of the fire brigade from Kilkee and Kilrush responded to the incident along with an ambulance and gardaí. A rapid response advanced paramedic unit from Ennis also attended the incident.
— AA Roadwatch (@aaroadwatch) August 28, 2017
Fire crews had to use specialist cutting equipment to remove the roof and doors from the vehicle so they could gain access to the casualty.
Once released from the vehicle, the woman was handed into the care of the National Ambulance Service (NAS). After being assessed by NAS paramedics, it was decided to request the HSE’s Emergency Aeromedical Service (EAS) air ambulance to airlift the woman to hospital.
The Air Corps-operated helicopter was unable to reach the scene however due to poor visibility and was forced to return to its base in Athlone.
The Irish Coast Guard was then requested to dispatch a helicopter to the incident however after checking with emergency crews at the scene, it was confirmed that visibility in the area was too poor to send the Shannon based aircraft.
The woman was instead transported by road to University Hospital Limerick. The pensioner is understood to have suffered serious injuries which are not believed to be life-threatening.
The driver of the van sustained some cuts and bruises but did not require hospitalisation.
Gardaí from Kilrush are investigating the cause of the collision.