THE parents of a 13-year-old boy who survived a 20-foot fall from a multi- storey car park in Newbridge while taking a dangerous short cut are calling for a barricade to be put up to prevent another accident from happening in the future.
Joseph and Jenny Conlon from Dara Park were told that their son is lucky to be alive after he jumped from the third floor of the Whitewater Shopping Centre car park but missed the wall below ending up concussed on the floor three stories down on Sunday, February 3 last at 5.30pm.
“It happened around 5.30pm,” said Joseph. “He missed the wall and landed on the floor below. He was knocked out. We were told that they [teenagers] all do it.”
Both parents were shocked to learn afterwards that the ‘daredevil’ short cut is used regularly by teenagers as a ‘common day occurrence’. The Conlons wish now to bring their safety concerns to the attention of management at Whitewater after they were told by doctors at Tallaght Hospital that their son was very lucky to have survived with a concussion and minor cuts and bruising.
“We were told by the doctors that there are usually only two outcomes,” he added. “Either he lands on his head and he would be dead or on his feet and the would be paralysed. Thankfully he was OK. Somebody was watching him that day.”
According to Jenny steps should now be taken to stop teenagers from using the dangerous and unlikely route as a short cut in the future.
“Is this going to happen to somebody else?” she said. “We need to do something about it as it could save somebody from a fatal fall. My son was only out for 20 minutes to meet the lads. I was on my way to pick him up. The security guards were very good and stayed with him because where he landed he wouldn’t have been seen. They told us at the hospital that half an inch from the temple area is a main vein and if he hit that he would have been dead. They need to put in a barricade it and block it up. Even if they put in a steel bar - you can just step over it [the railing] - even a small child could climb over it. He got out of hospital after two days but he got a very bad fright. His face was very battered and he couldn’t use his arm for two weeks. I did ring management and I plan to see them about it.” At the time of going to press attempts to contact management at Whitewater failed.
- Paula Campbell