A TEACHER managed to scramble out of her sinking car after it plunged into an icy river in a freak accident.
Elaine Mongey (29), from Slane, Co Meath, was driving to nearby Drogheda, Co Louth, when she lost control of her car at a blackspot on the N52 road.
The Toyota Corolla crossed into the oncoming lane and hit a pole before crashing into the fast-flowing Boyne at Oldbridge.
Ms Mongey's father, Paul, said that within seconds the car started to fill up with water and sink.
"She told me everything happened so quickly. She knew she was headed for the river and tried to avoid it," he said.
"She didn't panic, she just thought, 'I have to get out of here'."
Ms Mongey was able to squeeze out of the car door and swim to the riverbank where she was helped by a couple from the North.
She was released last night from Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda.
Speaking of her ordeal, she said: "I want to thank everyone who helped me.
"There was a woman there when I swam to the bank who pulled me out. I don't know who she was, but thanks to her and to Boyne River Rescue and the ambulance service."
Diver Thomas Daly, who later helped retrieve the car, said Ms Mongey was lucky to be alive.