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Wednesday 23 August 2017

Woman (60s) critical after being rescued by passers-by when car entered Co Donegal river

The Nissan Qashqai being taken from the river near Lifford where a couple were rescued by passersby when their car went into the river.
The Nissan Qashqai being taken from the river near Lifford where a couple were rescued by passersby when their car went into the river.

Stephen Maguire

A woman in her 60s is fighting for her life after the car she was travelling in with her husband left a road in Co Donegal and ended up in a river.

The couple were only saved after two passers-by managed to pull them from their car.

One man gave the female victim CPR as the emergency services arrived on the scene.

The couple’s car crashed into the Swilly Burn river near Porthall in Lifford just before 6.30pm on Saturday evening.

The couple’s car left the road before turning on its roof as it entered the river and becoming submerged.

At least two people who arrived on the scene waded into the river as water filled up the Nissan Qashqai car.

Both the man and the woman, who are in their 60s, were taken from the car as the emergency services from both sides of the border including the Rescue 118 helicopter arrived on the scene.

The couple were rushed to nearby Altnagelvin Hospital in Derry for treatment.

The woman is understood to be in a critical condition.

The couple have been named locally as Philip and Loreta McKinlay from Rosgier in Lifford.

Gardai are still trying to determine the cause of the crash.

No other vehicle was involved in the crash which happened close to the Sully Bridge.

The couple’s pet golden retriever dog was in the car but managed to get out and fled the scene but was found a short time later.

Garda forensic experts were on the scene today trying to determine the cause of the crash.

The car was taken from the river for further examination yesterday afternoon.

“At this stage we are still keeping an open mind on the cause of the crash. We are appealing to anyone who may have been in the area and witnessed the car leaving the road and entering the water to get in touch,” Garda Inspector Michael Harrison said.

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