A COUPLE from County Galway have been describing how they are lucky to be alive after they crashed into a mound of tarmac on the outskirts of Limerick city.
The incident happened last week when Anne Fahey and her partner, Ronnie Quinn, were returning to Galway after being in Clonmel.
They travelled in their Mercedes from Tipperary on the N24 and planned to take the LImerick tunnel.
“We travel frequently on that road and have used that particular lane, they weren’t using it as a work lane then. We saw the sign to go left for Galway and came to the roadworks - there were two lanes of traffic with cones in between them so we assumed that we were to take the inside lane.
“There was absolutely nothing to cordon it off, not as much as a cone, no sign. There should have been bollards completely across the lane to block it,” said Ms Fahey.
As it was dark and misty she says her partner was driving at around 35kms. Mr Quinn has been driving for decades without incident.
“We were driving along and out of the blue there was a huge black mountain of tarmacadam - it was impossible to see it. It just loomed up before us and there was nothing we could do, we were on top of it before we realised what happened. We went straight up in the air. It was horrific,” said Ms Fahey.
“There were no skid marks - if we were speeding we wouldn’t be here to tell the tale. One of the men who helped us said ‘I can not understand how ye are still here, how the car didn’t turn over and roll down over the huge drop’,” she added.
Ms Fahey said there was a 40 foot drop from the road to the ground. The car went up so high in the mound that the couple couldn’t reach the boot to get an attachment to tow the car.
Two young men came to their aid and a third man helped tow the car down. Due to shock Ms Fahey didn’t get their names but wishes to thank them for their kindness.
As the photo shows the front of the car is destroyed and there is a lot of damage to the underneath including the radiator and power steering.
Ms Fahey says there was “no doubt in her mind” that they were in the correct lane following the signpost for Galway.
“There should have been flashing signs and completely secured - there wasn’t as much as a cone in the way. Had we been travelling at any speed we would have been killed outright. It’s a deathtrap. We were very, very lucky,” she said.
Deputy Patrick O’Donovan said the couple’s experience bears out his concerns.
“Again I am calling for the necessary safety precautions at that junction to be taken to avoid any other incident that might occur. There is head nor tail to the way it is being left at the moment. Listen to the experience that they had to endure and ensure nobody else goes through it,” said Mr O’Donovan.