Friday 24 May 2019

'The terrifying moment reckless driver's crazy stunt nearly killed my daughter'

Claire Williamson

A mother has told of her fury after her daughter escaped death when the car she was getting a lift in veered into oncoming traffic while attempting a horrifying overtaking manoeuvre.

In shocking footage posted online the car - with R plates displayed - is forced to veer onto the hard shoulder on the opposite side of the road after trying to overtake as it meets a truck and other oncoming traffic.

It happened on the Limavady mountain road in Co Derry at around 8.40am last month and was captured by a dash cam in the vehicle behind.

The car overtakes the vehicle that is filming the incident and then, as it tries to overtake again, the driver appears to veer right as they think there is no room.

As a result it then dangerously veers onto the hard shoulder on the opposite side after meeting oncoming vehicles.

It continues along until it can rejoin the road.

The footage was passed to the PSNI.

Officers said they were "horrified" by the driver's actions.

Karen from Ballymoney, whose daughter was in the car, said the 18-year-old was lucky to be alive.

Her daughter had taken a lift with a friend of a friend when the incident happened en route to college.

Karen said that her daughter, who does not wish to be named, blacked out during the terrifying episode and couldn't believe she had survived.

She told the Belfast Telegraph that her daughter then contacted her to pick her up from college that afternoon as she did not want to get in that car again.

Now, after viewing the footage, Karen said she realised just how serious and how much of a near miss it was.

"She had told me that they escaped death, practically. I was in shock when I saw the video - I'm raging," she said.

"You don't send your child out thinking that when they are getting a lift that someone will act the eejit and take a chance like that - that you aren't going to see her come home. It was scary, the thought of it.

"Anyone that sends their kid out in the morning, they think they will get there safely, and not that someone will take that silly risk. When I saw it I was, like: 'Oh my God, that could have been a nasty result'.

"She couldn't remember anything with the shock of it all."

Karen said that after viewing the video she knew that her daughter "definitely did escape death". I'm relieved, because it could have been so much worse. She's a lucky girl - they are all lucky. She knows herself, she's an R-driver too." The mother said she wished to raise awareness about what happened so other road users would be vigilant - "for other parents to be careful and make sure they think when they put their kids in someone else's car - you just don't know what could happen".

"You are putting your child's life in someone else's hands.

"What can you say? Be careful. She has her whole life ahead of her and that all could have been taken away from her. She could have been left paralysed, or the worse scenario is death."

Constable Michael Hughes of the PSNI in Limavady said he was shocked by the video.

Constable Hughes said: "We have seen the footage on Facebook and are horrified by the driver's actions.

"We are appealing for anyone who was driving on the Limavady mountain road on Tuesday, January 24 between 8am and 9am and saw this car to get in touch with me using the telephone number 101.

"Information can also be given anonymously via the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111."

Belfast Telegraph

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