Gardaí were questioning a man last night following an incident where a woman was dragged from her car which was hijacked and later crashed on a busy motorway.
The incident occurred at around 9.30pm on Monday night when the woman was approached by a man in his mid 20’s who forced her from her vehicle.
The man took off at speed and the incident reported to gardaí in Gort. The woman is understood to have been uninjured but left shaken by the incident.
It’s understood the driver travelled north towards Galway initially before turning around probably after realising he was going the wrong way. It’s also believed he travelled cross country for a time before making his way onto the M18 motorway and began driving towards Limerick.
Gardaí began a search of the area and received a report of a sighting on the M18 motorway. Officers made their way onto the motorway and travelled south along the route into Co Clare.
At around 10.00pm gardaí received a report that a car had crashed into the barrier on the flyover at junction 14 at Barefield in Co Clare.
The car crashed about 25 kilometres from Gort and the driver left the scene probably across fields before gardaí arrived. The driver appeared to loose control before hitting the crash barrier twice and coming to a stop.
Three units of the fire brigade from Ennis were called to the scene to provide lighting and to clear debris from the motorway. National Roads Authority (NRA) motorway maintenance staff were also sent to the scene.
The car was removed from the scene for a technical examination while the search for the driver continued.
A man fitting the description of the driver was later arrested after he was found walking along the dual-carriageway close to Limerick city. He was taken to Shannon garda station for questioning about the incident however he was initially declared unfit to be interviewed.
Gardaí began questioning the man early yesterday and were continuing to quiz the suspect last night.
A Garda spokesman confirmed that a man in his mid 20’s had been arrested in connection with the unlawful taking of vehicle.
“The incident was reported to gardaí in Gort and a search for the vehicle was carried. Gardaí received a report of a sighting on the M18 and while gardaí were searching for the vehicle located the car crashed in Co Clare. A man in his mid 20’s was subsequently arrested and is being held at Shannon garda station,” the spokesman added.
Gardaí from Gort and Shannon are investigating the incident.