Lucky escape for elderly couple after their car tumbles off bridge
AN elderly couple were trapped for several minutes in their submerged car after it ricocheted off a wall and tumbled over a bridge yesterday.
Emergency services were at the scene almost immediately after the grey Audi A4 fell down a 10-foot drop and flipped into a river in Boyle, Co Roscommon.
Passersby and local business owners rushed to the scene after they heard "shrill" screaming coming from below the bridge.
A male driver and a female passenger, believed to be in their 70s, were trapped inside. The incident occurred at approximately 1.35pm, just yards from the Royal Hotel in the town.
About eight metres of stone and masonry was dislodged and went crashing into the river with the car.
A number of men jumped into the river and others raised the alarm. Locals comforted the couple, who were described as "extremely shaken".
"Luckily it's the summer time because the level of the water would be much higher in winter," one eye-witness said.
Fire personnel used cutting equipment to get the dazed driver and passenger out. A source at the scene said it was a "miracle" the couple suffered only cuts and bruises.
"We used what's called a 'roof fold'; we basically fold the roof back to get them out," he said.
"The car was on its side so we couldn't protect the casualties by getting them out through the passenger door."
Both casualties were taken to Sligo Hospital for treatment for non-life threatning injuries.