24 May 2022

TD 'lucky to be alive' after car 'flips over' on Laois motorway

TD 'lucky to be alive' after car 'flips over' on Laois motorway

The incident happened on the southbound lane of the M7 motoway in Laois

An Irish TD is recovering following a serious road accident which saw his car flip and roll on the M7 motorway in Laois.

The incident happened near Junction 21 - Borris-In-Ossory, during a 'freak shower of hailstones' in late February.

Independent Deputy O'Donoghue was returning home to Limerick from Leinster House late at night.

The 51-year-old says he lost control of his Volkswagen Passat when he encountered the extreme weather.

"It was like going from a carpet onto tiles. I was in the fast lane so I hit the (median) barrier on the right hand side - the front of the car tipped the barrier which put me into a 360-spin and took me down the road at a 45 degree angle.

"I crossed the two lanes and the hard shoulder and I hit the earth bank at the other side and she flicked me upside down," he told the Limerick Leader.

Mr O'Donoghue (pictured), who is an experienced driver, says he is lucky not to have been killed or seriously injured.

"When I landed I just started smiling and said to myself I'm alive - Jesus, I'm alive," he said adding that he was worried, in the immediate aftermath, that he would be killed by an oncoming vehicle as his car came to a stop while still partially on the motorway.

However, he managed to move the car to safety and 'walked away' from the accident without any serious injury.

After he returned home he was advised to seek medical attention and subsequently attended University Hospital Limerick where he was kept in overnight for observation. Deputy O'Donoghue was discharged following 24 hours 'stiff and sore' but did not sustain any serious injuries.

His car, however, is a write-off.

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