herald

Monday 16 January 2017

Man killed while walking along M50 during rush hour

Emergency services at the scene of the incident on the M50. Photo: Damien Eagers/INM
Emergency services at the scene of the incident on the M50. Photo: Damien Eagers/INM

A young man was killed last night after being struck while walking on the M50.

The victim, in his 20s, died instantly after he was hit by an articulated lorry on the northbound section of the motorway, close to the Ballymun exit at Junction 4.

The incident - the second fatal road accident of 2017 - occurred at 5.30pm, during the height of rush hour.

Gardai were last night working to establish why the man was walking on the motorway.

The man's body was taken to James Connolly Memorial Hospital in Blanchardstown for post-mortem examination.

Tailbacks

The lorry driver was not injured in the accident.

However, it led to long tailbacks on the northbound motorway after diversions were put in place to facilitate a forensic investigation.

While fatalities involving pedestrians on motorways are extremely rare, they have occurred here before, according to AA Ireland spokesman Conor Faughnan.

"The chances of a pedestrian being fatally injured if walking on a motorway are very high," he said.

"It is illegal for pedestrians, cyclists and hitch-hikers to be on motorways for a very good reason. On a motorway you're in the greatest of danger."

Aside from the fact that motorists can be travelling at speeds of 120kmh or more, "motorways are much more dangerous than they appear" because cars may not appear to be travelling at such high speeds.

"Your senses will be fooled on the motorway. It can be an optical illusion. You think cars are moving slower than they actually are," he said.

If someone ends up on side of the motorway because of an emergency, they should ideally ring for roadside assistance or gardai and wait on the other side of the crash barrier until they arrive.

"Don't wait in the car," Mr Faughnan added.

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