Brothers escape injury in van fireball smash

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A Derry solicitor yesterday relived the terrifying moment when a burning van ploughed into his car.

Gareth McFadden and his brother, Brian, escaped injured after their car collided with the driverless van on Saturday morning.

The men were driving up Creggan Hill at around 6.30 a.m. when the out-of-control van - with its cab on fire - hit their car.

Their vehicle caught fire but the two men managed to make their escape through the passenger door.

Mr. McFadden told the ‘Journal’ they were “very lucky” not to have been seriously injured.

“The van just came out of nowhere,” he recalled.

“It took a second or two to realise what was happening but it quickly became clear that the van was on fire.

“As it emerged from Marlborough Road, for whatever reason it turned down Creggan Hill, veered across the road and struck my car.

“It came to a stop next to the driver’s door, jamming it shut. Thankfully, we were able to get out through the passenger door.

“I dread to think what could have happened had we not been able to get out of the car, which was completely destroyed.

“We’re both OK but pretty shook up. It’s the thought of what could have happened that’s unsettling.”

Another of Mr. McFadden’s brothers, Paul - an independent candidate in next month’s Assembly elections - said the two men were “very fortunate” not to be injured.

“This type of incident represents the sort of random and regular attacks on the community which have to stop,” he said.

“It doesn’t bear thinking about what the consequences might have been if someone less mobile had been in the car.”

He added: “It defies belief that anyone would break into a van, set it alight and then let it run down Creggan Hill.

“It was reckless and dangerous and the consequences could have been disastrous.”