Dealer: my escape from test drive car plunge
Published 16/07/2010 | 04:12
A CAR salesman spoke of his miraculous escape yesterday after becoming trapped underwater during a test drive with a customer
Jeremy Beshoff (21) described the tragic incident at the pier in Howth, Co Dublin, as a “near death” experience.
He recounted his struggle to break free from the Mini Cooper after a 45-year-old father, who had taken it for a test drive, appeared to deliberately drive it over the edge of the pier.
The Beshoff name is well-known as the young businessman's great grandfather was Ivan Beshoff, a survivor of the famous 1905 mutiny on the Russian battleship Potemkin, who went on to set up the famous string of fish and chip shops in Ireland.
Mr Beshoff said he had no idea anything was amiss when the man came into his car dealership, Beshoff Motors on Howth Road, to test drive the vehicle on Tuesday afternoon.
“He took it for a test drive himself. He came back and said to me there was something wrong with the reverse gear,” he said.
“I thought maybe he is just not used to putting it into reverse gear so I went out with him on a test drive.
“We pulled up on the pier and I showed the man how the car operated in reverse... and he agreed it was fine.
“Before I knew it, he'd put the car into forward and sped up and driven off the edge of the pier.
“Within I'd say 10 to 15 seconds the whole car was submerged.”
Mr Beshoff smashed the front passenger window, escaped and was pulled to safety by a lobster fisherman. The body of the other man, who drowned, was later recovered.
“I'm lucky to be alive and very sad that the other man passed away,” he said. “It is an absolutely very difficult time for his family, friends and colleagues. My thoughts really do go out to them.”