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Horror crash rally driver on the road to recovery

By David Young

Published 26/08/2016

Accident: Pat Kirk’s rally car
Accident: Pat Kirk’s rally car

Veteran Ulster Rally driver Pat Kirk, who was critically injured in a horror smash last week, is now in a stable condition in hospital.

The popular racer, who has been rallying for more than 40 years, was injured in a crash during the first stage of this year's Ulster Rally.

Two days ago, his medical condition was described by health officials as "critical".

But last night it was revealed that the rally driver had left the Royal Victoria Hospital's intensive care unit.

A Belfast Health and Social Care Trust spokeswoman described his condition last night as "stable".

The Strabane motorsport enthusiast also runs one of the largest car dealer networks in the north-west of the province.

He was hospitalised after his powerful Mitsubishi Lancer slammed into the crashed Vauxhall Adam of Swedish driver Matthias Adielson at a corner on the high-speed rally circuit.

Experienced rally driver Mr Kirk (63) sustained multiple serious injuries during the crash, including damage to his pelvis, arm and skull.

His family told the BBC that he was "lucky to be alive".

The crash happened in Co Tyrone, and Mr Kirk was rushed to Altnagelvin hospital for emergency care.

It is understood that Mr Kirk had to be cut free from his damaged car in order for medics to attend to him.

He was later transferred to the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast, where he remained last night.

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