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Daughter of crash victims thanks ‘heroes’

The car is recovered from the water following the accident.

THE daughter of a couple whose Nissan Qashqai plunged into a river at Porthall last week says she will never be able to thank everyone for their support.

The man and woman were driving between St Johnston and Lifford when their car left the road at around 6.30pm on the Saturday before last.

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It ended up on its roof with the two occupants submerged in what is known locally as the Suile Burn.

One of the first on the scene was passerby Andrew Johnston, a student from Lurgan who was visiting Donegal for the weekend with his girlfriend.

He has told how the driver of the Qashqai, a 65-year-old man from the Rossgier area, had managed to get out. His wife however was still trapped in the vehicle at the time.

“What I saw unfolding before me was the scariest thing I have seen in my life. I saw the wreckage of a car and a man, whose face was covered in blood, and standing on the top of an upturned car. I’m not a gold medal swimmer but I got out to him and asked him if there was anybody else in the car. He told me his wife was in the car. To be honest, it wasn’t the answer I wanted to hear but I knew I had to do something,” Mr Johnston said.

The Lurgan man said it took four attempts to free the woman but with the help of other members of the public who had gathered, he managed to get her to safety.

Both injured parties were taken to Altnagelvin Hospital before the injured woman was transferred to Letterkenny. They are understood to be recovering from their ordeal.

The family’s dog, Lola, was also in the vehicle at the time of the crash. She managed to get out and has since been recovered safe and well.
The couple’s daughter, Shamira Ní Fionnlach, took to social media earlier this week to tell everyone who had helped her family that she would be eternally grateful.

“It’s impossible to reply to all that have messaged their support,” Ms Ní Fionnlach wrote.

“From the bottom of my heart I want to thank you all. And for those who searched for Lola on Saturday night. 

“The road to recovery will be a long one but my parents are the strongest people I know. 

“For those individuals who acted so quick and bravely at the scene, you are heroes and the reason my mum is alive. 

“My sole purpose now is to get them home where they belong to Lola and myself.”
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