Man has miracle escape after found pinned between van and tree in icy water

By David Raleigh

A man had “miraculous” escape after he was discovered this morning half-submerged in "swampy water", and pinned between a van and a tree.

The man was freed by heroic firefighters from Limerick and Clare who raced to the scene near Broadford, after receiving a 999 alert shortly after 9am.

The injured man, said to be aged in his 20s, was rushed by ambulance to University Hospital Limerick with serious leg injuries.

Emergency services at the scene of the crash. Picture: Press 22

According to witnesses the man had been attempting to warn others about icy road conditions when the man and a van collided with one another.

The man was sent through a ditch in the impact, and ended up pinned between the van and a tree in dike water.

“It’s a miracle he wasn’t killed outright,” said a reliable source at the scene.

Another source said: “He is lucky to be alive.” “His legs were pinned to the tree in deep enough water in a ditch. He was lying on his back in the water but his head was above the water,” they added.

The driver of the van was treated by shock but was not injured.

Sources said a local authority gritter machine was salting the road, but had yet to reach particular stretch of road where the pedestrian and van collided.

“It got stuck in the traffic at the scene. It’s must have been only about 100 yards away,” said a reliable source.

A spokesman for Clare County Council confirmed the road was being gritted at the time of the collision.

They said the gritter had been “nearing the end” of its route.

“We we’re gritting at the time. We have a system called Ice Tracker which notifies the (gritter) drivers if the road temperature hits two degrees and they are dispatched to those routes,” the spokesperson explained.

Five units from Limerick City and County Fire Service, and Killaloe Fire Station attended the scene.

Firefighters used airbags and winching equipment to pull the van away from the injured pedestrian, who was rushed by ambulance to hospital.

His condition is not believed to be life threatening, however he is understood to have sustained “serious leg injuries”, sources said.

The driver of the van, who was described as being “fairly shook up”, had assisted the injured man at the scene until emergency services arrived, sources said.

Two ambulances and an advanced paramedic vehicle also attended the scene.

Gardai have closed the road until further notice.

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