28 May 2022

TD 'lucky to be alive' after car 'flips over' on motorway in the Midlands

 TD 'lucky to be alive' after car 'flips over' on motorway in the Midlands

The incident happened on the southbound lane of the M7 motoway

A TD is recovering following a serious road accident which saw his car flip and roll on the M7 motorway in the Midlands.

The incident happened on the Limerick-bound carriageway of the M7 late last week as Deputy O'Donoghue was returning home from Leinster House.

Independent Limerick TD Richard O'Donoghue says he lost control of his Volkswagen Passat when he encountered a 'freak shower of hailstones' near Junction 21 - Borris-In-Ossory.

"It was like going from a carpet onto tiles. I was in the fast lane so I hit the (median) barrier on the right hand side - the front of the car tipped the barrier which put me into a 360-spin and took me down the road at a 45 degree angle. I crossed the two lanes and the hard shoulder and I hit the earth bank at the other side and she flicked me upside down," he told the Limerick Leader.

Mr O'Donoghue (pictured), who is an experienced driver, says he is lucky not to have been killed or seriously injured.

"When I landed I just started smiling and said to myself I'm alive - Jesus, I'm alive," he said adding that he was worried, in the immediate aftermath, that he would be killed by an oncoming vehicle as his car came to a stop while still partially on the motorway.

However, he managed to move the car to safety and 'walked away' from the accident without any serious injury.

After he returned to Limerick he was advised to seek medical attention and subsequently attended University Hospital Limerick where he was kept in overnight for observation.

While there he was assessed and underwent a number of scans and an x-ray - as is the norm with people who have been involved in similar road traffic incidents.

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"I couldn't talk highly enough about the staff who are in there - the nurses, the doctors, everyone - they were running and racing to different people. The amount of trolleys there was actually unsafe, they had trolleys on both sides of the corridors and on three or four occasions they had to move me to get somebody else passed," he said.

"Zone A, Zone B and Zone C - all the corridors were full of trolleys on both sides," he added.

The independent TD says having seen first-hand the reality on the ground at UHL, he believes there is only one solution.

"They have to re-open the A & E's in Ennis and Nenagh again - it's the only answer - they have no place to put people when they go in there (UHL) and it's not the staff's fault - they have no place to put them and they are understaffed," he said.

Deputy O'Donoghue, who was discharged following 24 hours in hospital says he is 'stiff and sore' but did not sustain any serious injuries in the accident.

His car, however, is a write-off.

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