An elderly woman and her daughter had an ‘incredible escape’ yesterday when their car careered across two lanes of a busy road, through a ditch and into a field.
The younger woman was dragged across the road after her mother appeared to have inadvertently hit the drive pedal in her modified Renault car.
The incident happened on the old N18 Ennis to Galway road at Ballymaley about 4 kilometres from Ennis. The pair had stopped at a local garage when the freak accident occurred at around 10.30am.
It’s understood that the woman in her 70’s was sitting in her car while her daughter was getting her walking aid out of the vehicle.
Without warning the car sped out of the garage forecourt in reverse, across two lanes and both hard shoulders, before ploughing through a ditch landing several feet below in a field.
The younger woman was “half in, half out” of the car at the time and was dragged about 30 metres across the road. She was lucky to have fallen clear of the car before it crashed into the field. She was left lying on the road with facial injuries and bruising.
Staff and customers from the garage ran to help the women while the emergency services were called.
Three units of the fire brigade, two ambulances and a rapid response advanced paramedic unit along with gardaí from Ennis raced to the scene.
Emergency crews found one woman injured on the roadside while the elderly lady was discovered in the car in the field. The pensioner’s ‘tri-walker’ walking aid was also found on the roadway.
Paramedics treated the younger woman on the roadside before placing her into an ambulance. Fire crews and another paramedic remained with the older woman while a second ambulance was called to the scene.
Both casualties were treated in the same ambulance until the second vehicle arrived. Both were removed to University Hospital Limerick but their injuries were not believed to be life-threatening.
Rescue crews believe that the fact the car didn’t overturn into the field after hitting the ditch probably saved the driver from serious injury or worse.
One local worker said: “I didn’t see the whole thing but the younger woman was apparently taking a stroller (walking aid) out of the car when it just took off across the road. She got dragged across the road and then fell on the road. She was lucky she wasn’t dragged under the car. The car went straight through the ditch.”
“This is still a very busy road and is very popular with walkers and cyclists. A group of cyclists only passed here a few minutes earlier and lots of trucks travel up and down here too. They were very lucky,” he said.