Belfast Telegraph

Woman critically ill and man injured after car enters Donegal river

By Stephen Maguire

A couple are fighting for their lives after their car left a road in Co Donegal and ended up in a river.

The man and woman were rescued only after two passers-by managed to pull them from their vehicle. One man gave the female victim CPR before the emergency services arrived on the scene.

The couple's car crashed into the Swilly Burn river near Porthall in Lifford just before 6.30pm on Saturday. The car left the road before turning on its roof as it entered the river and became submerged.

At least two people who arrived on the scene waded into the river as water filled up the Nissan Qashqai car. Both the man and the woman, who are in their 60s, were taken from the vehicle as the emergency services from both sides of the border, including the Rescue 118 helicopter, arrived on the scene.

The couple were rushed to Altnagelvin Hospital in Londonderry for treatment. The woman is understood to be in a critical condition.

They have been named locally as Philip and Loreta McKinlay from Rosgier in Lifford. Their pet golden retriever dog was in the car but managed to get out and fled the scene; it was found a short time later.

The vehicle was taken from the water for further examination. Garda Inspector Michael Harrison said: "At this stage we are still keeping an open mind on the cause of the crash. We are appealing to anyone who witnessed the car leaving the road to get in touch."

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