Terrified pedestrians jumped out of the path of a runaway truck as it made its way through the heart of a busy tourist town yesterday.
The driver of the waste collection truck was taken to hospital and three people sitting in cars hit by it in Dingle, Co Kerry, were taken to the medical centre.
“It’s a miracle no pedestrians were injured — the streets would normally be crowded with people at that time of the day and at this time of the year,’’ said Sergeant Noel Burke.
Dingle is enjoying a bumper peak season, with visitors from many parts of the world.
The drama started around 1.30pm when the truck appeared to get out of control, near the library, in Green St, and moved downhill towards the town centre.
It came to a halt after crossing a junction and crashing into the window of a woollen shop beside Garvey’s Supermarket in Holy Ground, about 200m away.
As the driver sounded the horn, people on the street leapt out of the way.
“When people heard the continuous beeping of the horn, they knew something was wrong and scattered as quickly as they could. It all happened so fast and was very frightening,’’ said one eyewitness.
The lorry clipped six cars and two were extensively damaged by the impact. Three people sitting in the parked cars were taken to Dingle Medical Centre and some were said to have been suffering from shock.
The truck driver, believed to have sustained a limb injury, was taken by ambulance to Kerry General Hospital, Tralee.
Green St, Strand St and Holy Ground, all in the centre of Dingle, were closed for several hours after the accident and major traffic congestion resulted. The streets were reopened to traffic last evening.
Gardaí are investigating and their technical experts are to examine the truck and the accident scene.
Gardaí would not comment on speculation that brake failure caused the truck to run down Green St out of control.
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