Calls to install traffic turning islands on the N5 have been renewed after a motorist was killed as he attempted to turn into Swinford.
A car driven by Brian Bacon of Cloughvalley, Kilkelly, was hit from behind and propelled into the path of an oncoming truck as it turned off the national road onto the regional road at Carracanada, Swinford last Friday afternoon. The 64-year-old motorist, who was travelling the short distance to Swinford, died immediately and the driver of a second vehicle sustained minor injuries.
Swinford-based Fianna Fáil Cllr Michael Smyth said fatal accidents are going to continue along the Swinford stretch of the N5 if Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) doesn’t take action.
“The TII want to see a nonstop flow of traffic along the N5 but there are a number of junctions around Swinford so that is not going to happen. The reality is if the road was built today there would be flyovers or only one access to the town but we need to slow down the traffic and turning lanes are required,” he said.
Mr Bacon’s life isn’t the first to be lost along the dangerous stretch of the N5. 21-year-old Tara Ryan died after she was involved in a three-car collision at Lislackagh between Swinford and Bohola in 2013. Her vehicle was turning right off the N5 when it was hit from behind and pushed into the path of an oncoming vehicle. Her death led to calls for turning lanes but nothing has been done.
“The sad part is that it won’t become an accident blackspot until a certain number of people die,” said Cllr Smyth who has appealed to the TII to take action immediately to prevent further deaths.
Kilkelly locals praised Mr Bacon, who lived close to Harrington’s Quarry with his partner Rose, for his friendly disposition and kindness to the elderly.
The N5 between the Applegreen station and the Kilkelly turnoff was closed for a number of hours on Friday afternoon to allow the Garda forensic collision team to carry out its investigations. Officers have appealed for witnesses to contact them at Swinford Garda Station on 094-9252990 or the Garda Confidential Line on 1800666111.