DAMIEN DUFF’S brother was lucky to be alive today after he narrowly avoided a massive crash in Poland.
Jamie Duff’s van swerved off the road and careered into a ditch after trying to avoid a head-on crash with a juggernaut.
Jamie and two pals, Fulham Football Club medics Dave Cosgrave and Liam Holmes, revealed they cheated death on the road to Gdansk during heavy rain.
"We could have been killed," the shaken group told the Herald.
The accident happened as the group travelled along a main road from Poznan to Gdansk in torrential rain.
Jamie was asleep in the back of the van when his pal was forced to take drastic action to dodge a horror smash.
“I could feel it going and I thought it was going to do a flip or something. I didn’t know how to brace myself or where to hold,” he explained.
“It just went smack, bang into the ditch.”
“It’s a miracle we were okay,” a group member said.
Dubliner Jamie, who lives in England, has been supporting his brother at Euro 2012 along Fulham FC medics Dave Cosgrave and Liam Holmes.
Some members of the Irish squad who are personal friends of the trio sponsored them to pimp out the van with a TV, playstation and tricolour leather seats.
Dave, who was driving at the time, explained that the incident occurred as they attempted to merge onto the Poznan-Gdansk motorway in heavy rain.
“I literally spun it back to the right thinking the steering had gone or the wheel brace had gone. It wobbled back onto the other side of the road and I thought we’re going to die here so I flipped it into a ditch,” he said.
The lads thought about calling RAC but a convoy of Irish campervans came to their rescue.
“We were all shook up and thought we’ll call the RAC but the Irish lads pushed us back onto the road and drove with us for about five miles in a convoy to make sure we were safe,” Dave added.
“When we were safe we waved them on and we pulled off and did a few manoeuvres to see if the axel or the steering bracket was broken and it wasn’t.”
However, their ordeal wasn’t over yet as they later suffered a blowout. This time, it was Liam at the wheel.
“I thought there something wrong. The other two were asleep so I pulled over and saw there was a complete blow out,” he said.
They ended up having to fork out €400 to get a tow-truck to bring them to Gdansk – where they arrived 28 hours after leaving Poznan.
The standard bus journey takes around five hours.
However, speaking to the Herald outside the team hotel in Gdansk the group said that their party plans are now back on track.
“We’re here safe and sound. And we’ve just invested in a guitar,” said Jamie, who plans to get the instrument signed by the team to help raise funds for Jimmy Mee who cycled from Monaghan in aid of Temple Street Children’s Hospital.