A Good Samaritan who stopped to help a teenage girl who had been injured in a car crash has been left significantly out of pocket after rescue crews dismantled his car to get her out.
Paul Egan, 53, from Sligo, came on the scene of the crash in Keshcarrigan, Co Leitrim, on January 27, and found Tamara Jade Huxtable, 18, from Drumshanbo wandering in the middle of the road after her friend’s car crashed into a wall.
“The girl was standing in the road,” said Paul. “I could see where the car was embedded in the wall, so naturally I got out to try and assist, and as it was raining I went over and helped her walk to my car to get some shelter.
“I was talking to her for a while but she kept lapsing in and out of consciousness, so I knew it was a serious enough situation.”
Gardaí, fire brigade and ambulance crews arrived within 15 minutes.
“One of the ambulance men pulled me aside and said that they may have to cut her out of my car,” revealed Paul. “I thought he was joking at first, because after all, she had walked over to it, but that’s what he said.
“About half an hour later they got sheets out to cover around the car and threw my work clothes, books, and work files on to the road, and I had to then stand there getting soaked and watch them take the boot out, remove all four doors, and then finally, incredibly, they cut the roof off and a helicopter lifted her out through that.
“I knew she was injured and that it was no laughing matter, but I kept expecting Jeremy Beadle to pop out with a hidden camera, it was just bizarre, I mean the girl has broken wrists.
“One of the ambulance men did say they couldn’t risk moving her in case she had a spinal injury, and I do get that, but at the same time I never expected to have my car taken apart.”
He said his insurance company have offered him €2,750 to write his own car off, but have also told him that when the time comes to renew with them they will treat it as though he has made a claim due to having an accident.
“I work for the HSE and my car is my office so I am now down €400 through having to hire one out, and that’s going to increase,” he said.
Despite his tale of woe, Paul is adamant he would do the same again.
“Ah, I would, I have teenage daughters myself and I’d be hoping someone would look after them if they had a problem,” he said.
When web designer Leon Quinn, from Carrick On Shannon, heard of Paul’s plight he set up the You Caring funding page.
Mr Quinn said he would send what he could to Paul.
“After what he has been through I felt it was the least I could do,” he said. “At the very least we should be able to cover his car hire. He’s had so much trouble for just being a decent guy and doing the right thing.”
Tamara was hospitalised for a number of days and is said to be making a good recovery.
The You Funding page can be found at www.youcaring.com/paulegan-754041
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