Cork County Council considering closing lethal junction

Scene of a fatal accident at Waterloo Junction last year

By Olivia Kelleher

Cork County Council is considering closing a junction on the main Cork to Limerick Road which has been the scene of a number of serious incidents and two fatalities in recent years.

The local authority has confirmed that the Waterloo Junction on the N20 will remain closed until the completion of current works.

In a statement Cork County Council said they were considering the future of the junction.

"Following some serious including fatal incidents, the Council is giving consideration to proposing the closing of the junction permanently.

"This is a statutory process, involving public consultation and further details will be made available in due course."

American tourists, Jim Baker (62) of Indiana and Peggy Sue Adams (59) from Ohio, were killed when their car was involved in a collision with a truck on the N20 at Waterloo Junction just north of Blarney in Co Cork on September 11th, 2017.

They arrived in Cork on a holiday a few days earlier with their respective spouses.

Jack Adams, the husband of the late Peggy Sue, was driving the hire car.

He and Mr Baker's wife, Deborah, were taken to Cork University Hospital (CUH) where they were treated for non life threatening injuries.

A second car, which was waiting to exit on to the dual carriageway, was struck in the aftermath of the crash.

Its female driver was uninjured in the incident. The woman was taken to CUH as a precautionary measure.

The driver of the truck was taken to CUH where he was treated for minor injuries.

The couples had travelled to the Cliffs of Moher prior to their trip to Cork.

They were making the journey from Mallow towards Cork and were turning right across the lane of traffic coming from Cork to descend the Kiln Hill towards Waterloo to head for Blarney when the collision occurred.

They turned right after being directed to do so by their Sat Nav.

Jim Baker with his wife Deborah

Jim Baker was a former electrical engineer who retired in 2012.

He was very interested in genealogy and had made a list of the various landmarks in Ireland he wanted to visit.

His daughter Diana travelled to Cork earlier this year to campaign for the right turn to be closed off at the junction.

While turns are possible at the junction, motorists then have to cross two lanes of oncoming traffic making the area notoriously dangerous.

In an interview with the Irish Examiner last May Diana Baker said she hoped to see an improvement in safety in the area.

"If I don’t do something, every single accident that happens here after this is on me, their blood is on my hands. I have the opportunity to make a change.

"He died but nobody else has to. We all need to step up and get this right-hand turn closed."

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