A mystery hero managed to pull a woman from a car after herself and
her husband ended up in a river after their car left the road.
The young man was one of a number of people who dramatically came to
the rescue of the couple on Saturday evening.
The couple’s car crashed into the Swilly Burn river near Porthall in
Lifford just before 6.30pm.
The couple’s car left the road before turning on its roof as it
entered the river and becoming submerged.
A number of people arrived on the scene waded into the river as water
filled up the Nissan Qashkai car.
The driver of the car managed to get out and scramble onto the roof of the car.
He shouted at people that his wife was trapped inside and to get her out.
One young man managed to swim out to the car and managed to get the
woman out of the car.
Another passer-by ran to a passing motorist and managed to get a water
hose which he passed to the rescuer before the couple were taken
The man who got the hose, who asked not to be named, said the man who
pulled the woman from the car was the real hero.
“I’m not sure who he is but he is the real hero. When I arrived I saw
the man on the roof and he was shouting that his wife was inside.
“Out of nowhere this guy just jumped in and managed to pull the woman
from the car. I threw out the hose and they came back in.
“When he got the woman to the banking, he started to give her CPR. She
seemed to be in the car a long time. The ambulance arrived then.
“I’m not sure who he is. I think he is from the North but he is the hero.”
The emergency services from both sides of the border including the
Rescue 118 helicopter arrived on the scene as the people were taken
from the car.
The couple, who are in their 60s, were rushed to nearby Altnagelvin
Hospital in Derry for treatment.
The woman is understood to be in a critical condition.
The couple are from the Lifford area.
Gardai are still trying to determine the cause of the crash.
There were no skidmarks at the scene and no other vehicle was involved
in the crash which happened close to the Sully Bridge.
The couple’s pet golden retriever dog was in the car but managed to
get out and fled the scene but was found a short time later.
Garda forensic experts spent yesterday trying to figure out the
cause of the crash.
The car was taken from the river for further examination yesterday afternoon.
Garda Inspector Michael Harrison said there was very little that could
be said at this stage.
“At this stage we are still keeping an open mind on the cause of the
crash. We are appealing to anyone who may have been in the area and
witnessed the car leaving the road and entering the water to get in
touch,” he said.