Without saying a word, the plucky Alanna White unlocked her seatbelt and jumped on to her father’s lap.
If she hadn’t, it’s likely she would have died or have been seriously injured as the 40ft truck fell on top of the van tearing off the roof above the passenger seat and landing where Alanna had been seated. The van was pinned up against a nearby barrier.
Alanna’s father, Joe White, was driving at the time. He had no inkling of what was about to happen as he had been looking ahead while driving.
The accident took place at about 5pm last Thursday on the notorious Clondalkin slipway, where a sharp bend brings motorists driving from the Naas road on to Dublin’s M50.
The truck had begun to topple after careering around the hairpin bend.
According to Alanna’s mum and Joe’s partner, Linda Cobb, “that turn is like a rollercoaster for cars”. The Whites, who live in Tallaght, say their accident was the second accident at the slipway in the past week. The first accident also involved a truck.
“The gardaí have said to us that they have repeatedly stressed how dangerous that bend is to the council,” said Ms Cobb. “The speed limit is 30 miles per hour there but it should be less. Why is nobody is listening? That turn is far too dangerous. Somebody will die there yet.”
Last night, Mr White described the family as blessed.
“Alanna was so quick,” he said. “We are blessed that she reacted the way that she did. I just feel so grateful. It’s an awful lot to deal with for a girl that young. She was hysterical at the time but thank God she’s physically fine now.”