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Family of tourists shaken after narrow escape


CAPSIZED A camper-van pictured after it went off the road at Roe, Kilmeena on Friday afternoon. Locals have called for barriers to be erected along the road as this was the fourth such incident in less than two years. Pic: Frank Dolan

Camper van falls into deep ditch when road verge collapses

Anton McNulty

RESIDENTS living along a local road in Kilmeena have called for a barrier to be erected along the road after a camper van became the fourth vehicle to leave the road in just over 12 months.
On Friday afternoon, a camper van which was travelling along a local road at Roe, Kilmeena ended up on its side in a field after the verge of the road gave way. The occupants of the camper van – two adults and two children – were forced to scramble out and use a ladder to climb down the side of the vehicle to safety. They were left shaken following the incident but relatively uninjured and brought to Westport by local people.
It is believed that the family had hired the camper-van in Dublin and were travelling from Achill when the sat-nav took them up a minor road off the N59 close to Mid-West Furniture in Kilmeena.
A recovery lorry sent by the camper-van company to retrieve the vehicle was unable to remove it due to the depth and steepness of the drain. Local residents had to help roll the van  and tow it out of a field before the tow-truck could eventually take it away.

Cones and sandbags
One local told The Mayo News that this was the fourth vehicle to slip off the road at this location and it is time that barriers are erected to prevent further occurrences.
“This is the fourth vehicle to go into this drain along this road in less than two years. The council were informed after the second vehicle went in, but all they have done is put up some traffic cones and sandbags along the edge, which won’t stop anything.
“For four vehicles to go off the road at the same stretch of road is too much of an occurrence to blame it just on poor driving. There is a problem with the verge which is taking cars in off the road and barriers are needed,” the resident said.
Officials from Mayo County Council did visit the scene after the incident occurred and the resident said he hopes local councillors put pressure on the officials to do something.
“This is the second vehicle to go in off the road since the council were notified and its time something is done about it. Otherwise there will be more getting towed out of the ditch,” he said.