Hit and run culprits ‘dicing with death’

The damage caused to the family's car in the collision at Bunnamayne, County Donegal.
The damage caused to the family's car in the collision at Bunnamayne, County Donegal.

A Derry mother has spoken of her horror after a speeding car crashed into the vehicle she was travelling in with her partner and six-years-old son, close to the border, before fleeing the scene.

Shauna Cooley, her partner Ciaran Murphy and son Cadán, were driving to their Creggan home via the Carrick Bridge Road, near Bunnamayne, Bridgend, when the crash occurred at around 8.20 p.m. on Sunday night.

Airbags activated in the car as a result of the impact.

Airbags activated in the car as a result of the impact.

The young family had been returning from a meal at the Lake of Shadows Hotel in Buncrana and had dropped off Ciaran’s grandparents just five minutes before the collision occurred.

The impact of the crash activated airbags inside their Ford Focus car, which has been extensively damaged.

Shauna said yesterday they were lucky to be alive and urged others to be careful travelling in that particular area.

“The car came out of nowhere and was absolutely flying,” she said.

Airbags activated in the car as a result of the impact.

Airbags activated in the car as a result of the impact.

“I just saw a flash of red and they seemed to come at us sideways. It was just seconds.

“I was busy trying to get my wee boy out and when I got him out I thought they were stopping as you think people would do, to check everyone was okay but they drove on.

“They were driving a red Vectra. There is somebody going to be killed if they keep doing this. If our car hadn’t been fitted with airbags it might have been a different outcome for us,” she claimed.

Shauna added: “We’re stiff and have aches and pains today and we’re still kind of in shock. But it could have been so much worse. It doesn’t bear thinking about what could have happened. We had a lucky escape, but for the next people it might not be the same outcome.

“If that had been somebody out walking on that road they were still going to drive on and leave them for dead. They just sped off.”

The Gardai arrived on the scene shortly after the accident on Sunday and are understood to be investigating.

Independent councillor for the Creggan area, Gary Donnelly, who has been in contact with Shauna and her family, warned that the speeding drivers were “dicing with death.”

He said: “We are not sure if this was joyriders or if they were in a run-around vehicle, but these young people need to catch themselves on.

“They hit this car, which had a young child inside; they showed no concern about them whatsoever despite the fact that that child and the family could have been seriously injured.”