A Good Samaritan who stopped to help a teenage girl who had been injured in a car crash was stunned when rescuers had to cut open his car in order to get her out.
Paul Egan was left significantly out of pocket after his car was written off following the unexpected series of events.
The Sligo man came across the scene of a crash when travelling through Co Leitrim. He noticed 18-year-old Tamara Jade Huxtable wandering around in the middle of the road and got out to help.
Egan explained: “The girl was standing in the road. I could see where the car was embedded in the wall, so naturally I got out to try and assist, and as it was raining I went over and helped her walk to my car to get some shelter.
“I was talking to her for a while but she kept lapsing in and out of consciousness, so I knew it was a serious enough situation.”
Tamara Jade was in shock after her friend’s car had crashed into a wall and the emergency crews arrived within about 15 minutes.
Egan continued: “One of the ambulance men pulled me aside and said that they may have to cut her out of my car.
“I thought he was joking at first, because after all, she had walked over to it, but that’s what he said.
“About half an hour later they got sheets out to cover around the car and threw my work clothes, books, and work files on to the road, and I had to then stand there getting soaked and watch them take the boot out, remove all four doors, and then finally, incredibly, they cut the roof off and a helicopter lifted her out through that.
“I knew she was injured and that it was no laughing matter, but I kept expecting Jeremy Beadle to pop out with a hidden camera, it was just bizarre, I mean the girl has broken wrists.
“One of the ambulance men did say they couldn’t risk moving her in case she had a spinal injury, and I do get that, but at the same time I never expected to have my car taken apart.”
Paul was offered €2,750 by his insurance company to write his car off, but they have informed him that the incident will have to be treated as a claim when it comes to his renewal.
He said: “I work for the HSE and my car is my office so I am now down €400 through having to hire one out, and that’s going to increase.”
However, despite his unfortunate financial predicament, he insists he would do the exact same thing if faced with the same situation again.
“Ah, I would, I have teenage daughters myself and I’d be hoping someone would look after them if they had a problem.”
However, Mr Egan may not be out of pocket for too much longer, after a kind-hearted web designer from Carrick-on-Shannon set up an appeal on compassionate crowdfunding site youcaring.com.
Leon Quinn, who set up the page, said: “After what he has been through I felt it was the least I could do,” he said. “At the very least we should be able to cover his car hire. He’s had so much trouble for just being a decent guy and doing the right thing.”
The page aimed to raise €5,000 so that Mr Egan could buy a replacement car. However, thanks to hundreds of kind donations, the target has already been surpassed.
The young woman who was injured in the crash was hospitalised for several days but is now making a good recovery.
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