Man dies after horror smash between truck and four cars

Scene of the crash (Image via Air Corps)
Scene of the crash (Image via Air Corps)

One man has died after an horrific collision between a truck and four cars in north Cork.

The motorist, a man in his 50s, died before he could be airlifted by Air Corps helicopter from the accident scene outside Mallow on the main Cork-Limerick road to Cork University Hospital.

The accident, which occurred shortly after 12 noon, resulted in the closure of a busy junction on the main road.

Such was the force of the collision that a horse was thrown out of a transport trailer and killed instantly.

One eye-witness said the incident could have resulted in an even greater tragedy given that a 10km road race was scheduled to arrive at the precise section of roadway just a few minutes later.

John Doheny admitted he was "totally shocked" by what he witnessed.

"There were cones along the road for the road race and I was standing near a bridge with my wife and son to watch it. It was due along within a short time," he said.

"The accident involved an articulated lorry and cars. One of the cars was pulling a horse box."

"From what I could see, the horse was thrown out of the horse box and was killed."

John admitted the incident could have resulted in a major tragedy.

"If it had happened a little further up the road I might not be here talking to you now," he said.

One motorist suffered critical injuries and was treated at the scene by paramedics.

An Air Corps helicopter responded to an alert and landed on a nearby stretch of roadway.

However, it is understood the man died before he could be airlifted to CUH.

A number of other motorists were treated for less severe injuries at the scene.

Several were later transferred to CUH but none of the injuries involved are life-threatening.

Mallow Gardaí admitted they were dealing with a major incident.

The accident occurred on the Cork city side of the Killarney roundabout in Mallow on the Cork-Limerick road.

A total of five ambulances attended the scene as well as units of Mallow fire brigade.

Gardai urged motorists to avoid the area given the road closure and diversions that are in place.

The roadway will remain closed until a detailed examination of the area is concluded by accident scene investigators.

Anyone who witnessed the collision or the vehicles involved in the minutes before the accident is asked to contact Mallow Gardaí on (022) 31450.

By Ralph Riegel