Four schoolchildren and an adult had a miraculous escape this week when a large wooden plank from a passing vehicle came crashing through the windscreen of their bus in Co Donegal.
The freak incident occurred at Garshooey, between Killea and Carrigans, at around 3pm on Wednesday afternoon.
The bus was stationary at the time, while a young child was being dropped off, when a plank and ladder came darting off the back of a van travelling in the Derry direction.
The ladder pierced the roof of the McGee Coach Hire Ford Transit while the wooden beam crashed through the passenger side of the windscreen, narrowly missing the driver, before landing in the back where four shocked boys and girls were sitting.
The father of one of the children, who did not wished to be named, said the children were on their way home from Coxtown National School when the incident occurred.
“The bus pulled in at the side of the road to drop off a child. The next thing they heard was a huge bang and the bus was filled with glass,” he explained.
“The plank was on a trailer being pulled by a passing van when it became dislodged, flew through the windscreen on the passenger side and hit the inside roof, just above the driver’s head. It then bounced over the seats in the back. It’s a miracle no one was killed, or even injured. Someone was looking down on them on Wednesday, thank God there was no one sitting in the front seat.”
He added that all four children, aged between seven and 12 years old, and the driver were ‘badly shaken’ as a result of the incident.
However, they were all back at school on Thursday.
A spokesperson for the school was unavailable for comment at the time of going to print.
The man said the driver of the van, who was from Derry, stopped and that Gardai arrived later.
However, he was allowed to leave the scene after being questioned.
A spokesman for Letterkenny Garda Station confirmed they were investigating the incident and appealed for witnesses to contact them on 074 9167100.