Two people had lucky escape when car ricocheted off a wall and plunged into river
TWO people had a lucky escape after their car ricocheted off a wall and plunged down a 10-foot embankment before it flipped over into a river.
Gardai came to their rescue within minutes of the Audi car, with a Sligo registration plate, careered off the road in Boyle, Co Roscommon, at lunchtime today.
The incident occurred just yards from the Royal Hotel in the town.
Passers-by and local business owners rushed to the scene after they heard "shrill" screaming coming from below the bridge.
A male driver, believed to be middle aged, and a female passenger were trapped inside.
A number of men jumped into the river and others raised the alarm.
They tried to comfort both people, who were described as "extremely shaken and distressed".
One local café owner ran to the scene clutching towels.
"I was coming back to work at 1.55pm and it had happened at that stage," an eyewitness told Independent.ie
"The car was on its side. It had hit one side of the bridge and then ricocheted across, taking the bridge clean out on the other side and into the river.
"It's amazing how it happened because there's an ordinary footpath on one side and the same on the other side.
"There mustn't have been anybody parked on either side, because he hit the bridge, knocked a couple of blocks off it and then went straight across into pillars.
"Luckily, it's the summer time and river was low."
Fire personnel used cutting equipment to get the driver out.
They then took them up the bank where paramedics were waiting with stretchers.
It understood they have been taken to Roscommon Hospital.
The extent of their injuries is unknown, but another witness told Independent.ie that the man's hands were "moving" as he talked to the emergency services.
Bridge Street in Boyle has been closed off and diversions are in place.
Fire crews are using winching equipment to haul the car from the river to be taken from the scene by a recovery crew.