Danger Overhead | 

Garda warning over ‘motorway missiles’ after objects thrown at cars from bridge

The warning came after an incident where an object, believed to be a rock, was thrown from a motorway bridge in Tipperary at a passing car.

Stock image of a bridge over an Irish motorway. Photo: View Pictures/Universal Images Group via Getty Images© Universal Images Group via Getty

Ralph RiegelIndependent.ie

Gardaí warned that someone will be injured or possibly even killed as a result of objects being thrown from motorway bridges at cars passing below.

The warning came after an incident where an object, believed to be a rock, was thrown from a motorway bridge in Tipperary at a passing car.

Luckily, the motorist was able to safely pull their vehicle over to the hard shoulder though their windscreen had been damaged by the missile.

It followed similar incidents over recent times where objects were thrown from bridges over motorways in Dublin, Wicklow, Meath and Cork.

The most horrific incident occurred in Dublin five years ago where a woman claimed that kittens were tossed from a motorway flyover directly into the path of a vehicle travelling below.

In Wicklow, rocks were thrown from a bridge at cars passing on the N11.

Gardaí in Cork had to increase routine patrols of some motorway flyovers after a series of incidents in 2015 where rocks were thrown at the windscreens of cars and trucks passing underneath.

In one case, a collision between vehicles was narrowly averted.

In 2014, an ambulance had to be taken out of service after being damaged when it was hit by rocks thrown from a motorway flyover on the M4 motorway on the Meath-Kildare border.

Tipperary gardaí expressed concern at reports of objects being thrown at traffic on the M8 motorway over recent days.

The latest incident occurred over February 25/26 when a motorist said they spotted a number of people standing on an M8 flyover bridge just outside Cahir in south Tipperary.

As their car passed underneath the bridge, the motorist spotted that an item had been thrown.

This item - possibly a rock - struck the windscreen and damaged it.

Fortunately, the motorist was sufficiently alerted by the group on the bridge that they had slowed down - and was able to bring their vehicle to the hard shoulder without incident to inspect the damage caused.

The motorist was uninjured but was left shocked by the incident.

Gardaí have now launched a full investigation into the incident and are examining CCTV security camera footage from premises in the general area to try to identify the group on the bridge.

A number of other incidents have occurred on roads in the Tipperary area over recent months.

Sergeant Declan O'Carroll issued a public warning via TippFM that such behaviour could result in tragic consequences.

“Over the weekend gone by, there were incidents around the Cahir District," he said.

"On Sunday evening a person driving on the M8 saw people on a bridge – these people then threw an item from the bridge which struck the windscreen causing damage."

"These are serious incidents and Cahir gardaí are appealing to people to be aware of the potential fatal consequences of these actions."

"It is a serious offence and this one is being fully investigated,” he said.

Gardaí urged people to think of the consequences of such actions on a busy motorway.

Detectives have also urged anyone with information about the identity of those involved to help gardaí with their inquiries.

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