A TEENAGER drowned and five friends had a "miraculous" escape after their car crashed and landed upside down in a lake.
Stephen McDonagh (19) died after the car he was travelling in left a Connemara Road in the early hours of yesterday.
He was with friends returning home to Carraroe, 30km away, from a night out in Clifden when the incident happened on the narrow Inagh Road, which connects the main Clifden to Galway Road and the Kylemore Road.
The five survivors were plucked to safety by gardai and a local Coast Guard unit based at Cleggan.
"The car ended up in Inagh Lake," said Galway councillor Sean O Tuairisg, who knows the dead man's family.
"It is a terrible tragedy."
Gardai said the crash happened shortly after 2am.
The Coast Guard alerted the local Cleggan unit, which had been working over the weekend to help flood victims.
The driver of the car and four of his passengers were successfully brought ashore.
The R118 helicopter had been tasked to the scene but was stood down after the land crew and gardai were able to rescue the remaining passengers, said a Coast Guard spokesman.
All five survivors were treated for injuries at University Hospital Galway.
Gardai wish to appeal for witnesses to this incident to contact Clifden garda station on 095-22500, the garda confidential telephone line at 1800 666 111, or any garda station.
Meanwhile, a man is in a critical condition and a second is seriously injured after a two-car crash.
The crash occurred at around 7.20pm on the R458, the old N18 Ennis to Galway road, near the village of Barefield, Co Clare.
One of the cars was travelling in the direction of Ennis, while the second car was driving in the opposite direction towards Barefield.
The two vehicles collided head-on just 300 metres from the local church.
The driver of a black Volkswagen Golf was trapped in his vehicle following the collision. It took fire crews about 25 minutes to remove the injured man who is believed to be in his late 20s.
The second driver, believed to be a middle-aged man, was critically injured but not trapped. Both men were rushed to University Hospital Limerick for emergency treatment.
Gardai from Ennis are investigating the cause of the collision.