Buncrana tragedy helped man escape from car

Man escaped from car after recalling advice

Staff Reporter


Staff Reporter

Buncrana tragedy helped man escape from car

Staff Reporternews@donegaldemocrat.com@dgldemocrat

A driver whose car plunged into a lake has escaped after he remembered advice he had heard following the Buncrana tragedy which claimed the lives of five members of the same family in March this year.

The man was driving his 4x4 outside the village of Donemana in Co Tyrone when it left the road and went through a ditch, before hurtling 20ft down a steep bank into the deep roadside lake.

The Belfast Telegraph reported that local man James Gamble - who rushed to the aid of the crash victim - said that the driver told him he had only managed to escape from the sinking vehicle thanks to advice he had read in the wake of the Buncrana pier drowning tragedy.

Five people including three children, drowned when their car slid into the waters of Lough Swilly in March. Sean McGrotty (46); his sons Mark (12) and Evan (8); their grandmother Ruth Daniels (57) and her daughter Jodie Lee Daniels (14) all died in the March tragedy when the vehicle they were in entered the water at Buncrana pier after it got stuck on a slipway.

Mr Gamble said: "The driver told me that he'd pulled his head-rest from the seat and used the metal ends to smash the window of the jeep and escape.

"He said that he'd seen the advice on how to escape from a sinking vehicle when he read about the Buncrana tragedy."

Rescuers leapt from their cars and scrambled down the steep bank to help the driver seconds before it slid beneath the surface of the deep lake.

Mr Gamble - who provided the drenched driver with blankets after his amazing escape from the sinking vehicle - said the man's swift action in smashing the car window had probably saved his life as the vehicle became totally submerged .