Driver lucky to avoid being electrocuted
A Co Down man who drove his new BMW into electricity cables hanging over a dual carriageway believes he is lucky to be alive following the terrifying ordeal.
James Smith (27) was driving home to Newtownards along the Kempstones Road after football training on Tuesday night as Storm Eleanor swept across the country, bringing down hundreds of trees and power lines.
"The rain was so heavy that I couldn't really make out what was in front of me but I could see something strange in the distance, it was dangling from above," he explained.
"I realised too late that they were electricity cables just dangling in mid-air and I drove straight into them.
"There was a loud bang followed by an explosion and lots of sparks, it was really scary."
A surge of electricity scorched the body of the car, smashed the windscreen, blew the wing mirrors off and destroyed the bumper. It even destroyed the alloys and headlights.
"I was doing around 50mph and it felt like driving into a huge force, it threw my car all over the road," he said.
"Thankfully I managed to keep control and stay on the tarmac but the car is totally destroyed. If more cars were on the road at the time it could have caused a serious accident - one car had to swerve around me."