Helicopters unable to aid rescue of elderly woman trapped in crashed car

Poor visibility reportedly prevented two helicopters respond to a serious road traffic collision in Co Clare yesterday where an elderly woman was left trapped in the wreckage of her car for over an hour.

Efforts to dispatch the HSE/Air Corps-operated air ambulance and the Shannon-based Irish Coast Guard helicopter were abandoned and the woman had to be transported, by road, to hospital. Her injuries are not believed to be life-threatening.

The driver of a van sustained cuts and bruises, but did not require hospitalisation.

Gardaí from Kilrush are investigating.

The pensioner, who is understood to be in her 80s, was trapped following the collision at around 8.15am at a junction on the N67 Kilkee to Lahinch road at Clohanes, near Doonbeg.

Fire brigade units from Kilkee and Kilrush responded to the incident along with an ambulance and gardaí.

On arrival, emergency crews found the woman trapped inside her vehicle. It is understood her lower body was trapped beneath the steering wheel and dash console, leaving fire crews with the difficult task of removing her.

After paramedics assessed the woman, fire crews used specialist cutting equipment to extricate the casualty from the car.

She was then handed into the care of the National Ambulance Service (NAS).After being assessed by NAS paramedics, it was decided to request the HSE’s Emergency Aeromedical Service air ambulance to airlift the woman to

After being assessed by NAS paramedics, it was decided to request the HSE’s Emergency Aeromedical Service air ambulance to airlift the woman to hospital.

However, the helicopter was unable to reach the scene due to poor visibility and was forced to return to its base in Athlone.


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