Car crash teen is saved by friends
A TEENAGER was dragged to safety from his burning car by two of his friends following an accident at Ballyteigue on the Kilmore to Baldwinstown Road early on Saturday morning.
Johnny Bates and Ely Whelan hauled Ruairí Nunn from the car a minute before the fire caught properly and the Renault Clio exploded into flames.
'I grabbed him by the arm and me and Ely pulled him out. I'm grand, it was wasn't too bad, but it was scary, said Johnny, 'the fire wasn't that big then.'
Ruairí had been in bed asleep when he got a call from the boys who couldn't get a taxi. 'Ruairí drove over, picked them up and the accicent happened on the way home,' said Ruairí's dad John.
The three and another 17 year old, Ryan Miller, were in the car when Ruairí lost control of the vehicle during the early hours of Saturday morning.
'We went into a pillar and then another and ended up upside down,' said Johnny, reliving the horror accident he said could have killed them all.
Johnny said himself, Ryan and Ely managed to get out of the car with relatively minor injuries, but Ruairí was trapped by the engine which had been pushed back by the force of the crash.
He ran to the home of Phil Keating, who lives nearby, with her son Willie grabbing a small domestic fire extinguisher before heading to the crash scene.
By this time, Johnny and Ely had 'miraculously' managed to pull a semi-conscious Ruairí from the wreckage.
Three ambulances, two fire tenders and the gardai attended the accident and Ruairí was taken to Waterford Regional Hospital for treatment to his injuries.
Phil's niece Eimear, an off-duty nurse from Waterford Regional Hospital, was among local people who responded to the accident and helped treat the teenagers for their injuries until the ambulances arrived.
Phil recalled that when Johnny came to the door he was almost apologetic.
'He said there had been accident just down the road and did we have a fire extinguisher as the car was on fire,' she said.
'They were very, very lucky to get out,' said Willie.
He said Ruairí had already been rescued from the car by the time he arrived with his extinguisher which was 'useless' given the scale of the fire.
'Once it caught, it was very swift. It only took 20 minutes for it to be burnt out,' he said.