Helicopters unable to attend serious crash due to weather

Helicopters unable to attend serious crash due to weather


The car from which the elderly woman had to be cut by fire crews.

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.

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.

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.