Elderly couple's 'miracle' escape from car plunge
AN elderly couple had a lucky escape when their car ricocheted off a wall, went backwards over a 10-foot drop and flipped into a river.
Gardai came to their rescue within minutes of the grey Audi A4, with a Sligo reg, careering off the road over a stone bridge in Boyle, Co Roscommon.
The accident occurred at about 1.35pm yesterday, just yards from the town's Royal Hotel.
Passers-by and local business owners rushed to the scene after they heard "shrill" screaming. A male driver and a female passenger, believed to be in their 70s, were trapped inside the car. A number of men jumped into the river and others raised the alarm.
An eyewitness told the Irish Independent: "The car was on its side. It had hit one part of the bridge and then ricocheted across, taking the other side clean out, before plunging into the river.
"Luckily it's the summer time because the level of the water would be much higher in winter."
Fire personnel used cutting equipment to get the driver and passenger out. A source said it was a "miracle" the couple suffered only cuts and bruises.
"We used what's called a 'roof fold'; we basically fold the roof back to get them out. The car was lying on its side so we couldn't protect the casualties by getting them out through the passenger door," he said.
Both casualties were taken to Sligo Hospital for treatment for non-life threatening injuries.