Monasterevin crash: Heroic neighbours pulled screaming and bleeding kids from wreckage and sat them on the roadside in their child seats until emergency services arrived
Monasterevin debris at scene today
Monasterevin scene today
28 Sept 2015
Above: The scene of devastation showing the red Peugeot which was carrying the three men and the silver Ford being driven by the dad with his two kids. Several heroic locals rushed to help crash victims of yesterday's Monasterevin crash until emergency services arrived - and they described a scene of panic in the intermediate aftermath. Six people, including two children, were injured in the two-car collision on the Portarlington to Monasterevin Road shortly after 12pm on Sunday afternoon. Fast-acting neighbours pulled the daughter (7) and two-year-old son of dad Frank Stokes from their burning silver Ford Galaxy vehicle just seconds after the high-impact collision on a bad bend at Ballagh. The young family had left their nearby home to go to Monasterevin less than a minute earlier. The three men in their late teens and early 20s - believed to be from Portarlington - were trapped in their red Peugeot saloon car and fire officers were forced to use cutting tools to free them. A back seat passenger had been hurled between the two front seats, breaking the gear stick, and struck his head on the dashboard. A source said: "The two kids were screaming and covered in blood when neighbours ran to the scene. They acted quickly to lift them out of the car as it was on fire at that point. "It was a lucky thing that the toddler was in his baby seat and his sister was in a booster seat because they would have certainly been thrown clear with the impact. "They had cuts and bruises and they were calmed down and placed at the side of the road in their car seats." One woman ran into a nearby house for ice packs and bandages for the kids who also had bruises from being suddenly *restrained by their seat belts. The source added: "Their father,who is in his 30s, took the full brunt of the collision in the driver's seat was falling in and out of consciousness at the scene." Another neighbour said he heard a car speeding up the road after 12 noon and added: "The next thing I heard was a bang and complete silence." Mr Stokes is currently in Tullamore General Hospital as well as two of the occupants of the Peugeot car. The seven-year-old was transferred to Our Lady's Hospital in Crumlin on Sunday night while the toddler is in Tallaght General Hospital. A man in his 20s who was in the Peugeot car remains in a serious condition at Beaumont Hospital in Dublin. Locals said relatives of the children are maintaining bedside vigils in hospitals. It's understood that several people were out for Sunday morning walks, jogs or cycles before the crash occurred. One resident said: "It was just a random thing. It could have been anybody on that bad bend at the time. "One man was out cycling with his two kids nearby. I also saw somebody jogging nearby. "There is a stud up the road and sometimes people are out exercising horses." Local man John Hardt said the road is a local blackspot as a car crashed into his garden about four years ago. He said: "A young couple crashed through the wall and we kept them warm until emergency services arrived."
Above: The scene of the crash on rightAbove: Debris still at the scene today Mr Hardt also called for CCTV and lower speed limits on rural roads to deter criminal behaviour. It is understood Gardai had observed the Peugeot vehicle from a distance but were not in active pursuit when the crash occurred. A helicopter and a number of ambulances from Athy, Portlaoise and Tullamore attended the scene and were assisted by local gardai and units of the fire brigade from Monasterevin and Portarlington. Kildare gardai are appealing for further information on the incident and asked witnesses to contact them.
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