Garda escapes injury as patrol car bursts into flames on M18

Garda escapes injury as patrol car bursts into flames on M18



Photo: © Pat Flynn 2019

A member of An Garda Síochána escaped injury after his vehicle burst into flames on a motorway in Co Clare in the early hours of this morning.

The Garda Roads Policing Unit member was on routine patrol on the M18 at around 12.30am and was travelling northbound between junctions 10 and 11 when the incident happened.

It’s understood the Garda heard a bang which was followed by a burst of flames however he managed to bring his vehicle to a safe stop in the hard shoulder near Dromoland before exiting the car.

The Garda raised the alarm and managed to retrieve some important equipment from the rear of the vehicle before it was completely engulfed in flames

Units of Clare County Fire and Rescue Service from Shannon and Ennis stations were mobilised to the incident along with a number of other Garda patrols.

It’s understood that a number of passing motorists stopped to check that the Garda was not injured. The member was the only person in the car at the time and was carrying a routine traffic patrol on the motorway at the time.

A view of the scene from Junction 11 at Dromoland – Photo: © Pat Flynn

Gardaí closed the M18 northbound from junction 10 at Carrigoran so fire crews could deal with the blaze.

Traffic was diverted away from the scene for the duration while vehicles caught up behind the incident were allowed continue their journeys once the fire had been extinguished and the scene was declared safe.

The motorway was safely reopened again at around 5.00am once the car had been removed from the scene and the road surface was checked for damage by motorway maintenance crews.

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.