herald

Wednesday 20 September 2017

Miracle escape for gardai as car takes off and lands on their jeep

FIVE men - including three garda officers - had a miraculous escape when an oncoming car crashed into the roof of a garda jeep.

The collision happened at around 11pm on Saturday night at a notorious blackspot on the N69 route in Limerick which claimed the lives of a fireman and garda officer in 2007.

Three members of the traffic corps -- Aidan O'Gorman, Jeff Kenny and Adrian Nevin -- were travelling from Foynes towards Askeaton in a garda Landcruiser when they came upon another car -- believed to be a Volkswagen Passat -- travelling in the opposite direction at Barrigone.

It is believed the driver of the Passat lost control of his vehicle and it flew through the air before crashing into the oncoming garda vehicle.

Victim

The car ended up on the roof of the garda Landcruiser, but nobody in either vehicle suffered serious injuries. The traffic corps officers, based in Limerick, were on routine patrol at the time.

In February 25, 2007, Garda Brian Kelleher (46) and fireman Michael Liston (47) were killed when they were knocked down by a car while they worked at the scene of a single- vehicle road accident at the same location.

Almost five years on, colleagues of the victims had to return to the same spot to help the three garda officers and the two other men in the latest crash.

All five men were treated at the scene and brought by ambulance to the Mid-Western Regional Hospital in Limerick for further care.

The scene on the busy N69 route remained closed until early yesterday.

An emergency worker said: "All five were very lucky. The car landed right on the back of the garda Landcruiser -- on its roof. It came through the air at them. The gardai could have been killed only for the fact they were in a sturdy 4x4."

"The people who worked with Brian Kelleher and Michael Liston had to return to the same scene where their friends died in front of them before. It was a very harrowing experience for everyone.

hnews@herald.ie

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