Ambulance crew injured in horror smash
This is the devastating aftermath of an horrific head-on crash between an ambulance and a lorry in Co Down.
But while those involved needed hospital treatment, their injuries were described as not life threatening.
The crash happened just after 2.30pm yesterday on the Portaferry Road, near Mount Stewart.
One patient was inside the ambulance, along with two crew members. They and the lorry driver were all rushed to hospital for treatment to the injuries they suffered in the accident.
A major emergency operation was immediately put in place, and a rapid response team, a paramedic, three ambulance crews and the air ambulance were all scrambled to the scene of the smash.
Local Green Party representative Hannah McNamara - who herself had worked for five years with the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service - said last night she was relieved to hear that all of those involved were recovering from their injuries.
"From the looks of the vehicle, the crew are lucky to be alive.
"I wish them and their patient a speedy recovery," she said.
"We don't realise the dangers our ambulance crews face on a daily basis - and I am so relieved that no one was seriously injured in this case.
"I'm sure the crew never thought they would need to call on their colleagues in an emergency such as this, but I am thankful we have such dedicated ambulance staff out there saving lives day in, day out.
She added: "I urge other road users to be aware of emergency and non-emergency vehicles.
"Just because they don't have flashing blue lights and sirens doesn't mean there isn't a patient on board being transported for treatment - along with a life saving crew."
The Portaferry road was closed following the crash
Diversions were put in place while police began their investigations into the cause of the accident.