SEVERAL people have been hospitalised after an incident involving three cars and a wandering animal on the N18 in Co Clare late last night.
The collision occurred shortly before mid-night at Cratloekeel in the southbound lanes of the N18 just beyond junction 5 at Cratloe.
It’s understood that two cars collided with a cow and that a third vehicle then struck one of the cars.
Units of the fire brigade from Shannon Town and Limerick City responded to the incident along with several ambulances and Gardaí.
The road was closed from the junction 5 flyover and traffic diverted away from the area while emergency service dealt with the incident.
Fire crews had to use cutting equipment to help free three casualties from one vehicle. It’s believed four people in all were taken to University Hospital Limerick for treatment following the collision. Their injuries are not believed to be life-threatening.
A considerable amount of debris and fluids from the vehicles was left strewn across both lanes of the dual-carriageway. Fire crews and motorway maintenance personnel spent some time clearing the road and making it safe before it was reopened at around 2am.
The animal is reported to have died following the collision. The incident is being investigated by Gardaí from Mayorstone station in Limerick City.
Last night’s was the second such incident in recent days in the Shannon area. Late last Saturday, emergency services were called to an incident where a car collided with a cow on the R471 Shannon to Sixmilebridge road.
Fire crews had to use cutting equipment to safely extricate one person from the car.
By Pat Flynn