A woman a lucky escape early yesterday when she lost control of her car, mounted an embankment and demolished a speed limit sign before overturning onto a motorway.
The single-vehicle collision occurred at around 5.30am at junction 13 on the M18 on the outskirts of Ennis in Co Clare. The silver Ford car was travelling south towards Shannon when the woman lost control and crashed.
The driver, a woman in her 40’s, was the only occupant of the car.
A passing motorist is understood to have helped the woman from her overturned vehicle but had left the scene by the time the emergency services had arrived.
The woman is also believed to have told emergency services personnel that she had skidded on black ice.
Four units of the fire brigade along with Gardaí and an ambulance from Ennis responded to the incident.
On arrival at the scene they found the car on its side and blocking one lane of the motorway. The interchange is well lit up so vehicles following behind managed to avoid colliding with the car.
Fire crews set about ‘fending off’ the area by placing one vehicle some distance back from the accident scene to warn approaching motorists while other trucks were parked at an angle to protect emergency crews as they dealt with the incident.
Ambulance paramedics assessed the driver at the scene before she was taken to University Hospital Limerick (UHL) for further treatment. The driver is understood to have sustained only minor injuries.
Gardaí also travelled to the hospital where there woman was later questioned about the incident and required to provide a blood sample for analysis as part of an investigation into the incident.
Gardaí will await analysis of the blood sample to be completed before deciding whether there will be any further action taken.
While one lane remained block for a time, gardaí later closed the motorway southbound at junction 13 diverting traffic onto the interchange and alternative routes.
Once the crashed vehicle had been removed and the scene cleared of debris, National Roads Authority motorway maintenance staff inspected the area to ensure it was safe to reopen.
Emergency crews believe the driver was fortunate that the collision happened in a well lit section of the motorway.
“The car was on it’s side with the dark side of the underneath facing oncoming traffic. If this happened on a section of the motorway where there was no lighting, other vehicles would not have seen the car in road until it was too late,” one rescue working said.