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Garda lucky to be alive after he's cut from his rammed car; Speeding vehicle smashes as cops put out stinger device.

Byline: STEPHEN MAGUIRE

BY STEPHEN MAGUIRE TWO gardai have miraculously survived after their vehicle was rammed by an out-of-control car.

The officers were attempting to deploy a stinger device in Co Donegal when the smash happened in the early hours of yesterday morning.

One of the gardai needed cut from the vehicle after it was struck by the speeding Northern-registered Fiat Punto.

It had been pursued by another Garda patrol car for a number of miles before the smash at McGrory's Brae between Ballybofey and Donegal town.

A spokesman revealed how the injured officer, named locally as Garda Evan Joyce who is stationed at Lifford, is lucky to be alive. He added the incident was almost a carbon-copy of another in which another garda lost his life when his patrol car was struck by a stolen vehicle in December 2009.

Garda Gary McLoughlin, 24, from Ballinamore, Co Leitrim, was injured and later died following the crash at Lisfannon on the Letterkenny to Bridgend Road after gardai were alerted to a car driving off from a filling station at high speed.

His colleague Garda Bernard McLoughlin, from Gurteen, Co Sligo, was also injured in the incident.

A Garda spokesman said of yesterday's incident: "It really is a miracle that the garda was not killed. He was so lucky. The lads were deploying the stinger when all of a sudden their vehicle was struck. One of the lads was still in the car and he is so lucky he escaped with his life. It was a carbon copy of what happened to the late Garda Gary McLaughlin."

The garda was cut from the vehicle by the fire service and taken to Letterkenny University Hospital. Miraculously his injuries were minor.

The Punto driver is still in hospital in Letterkenny and is under Garda surveillance.

He is understood to have suffered back injuries but is expected to appear at a sitting of the courts in the coming days.

The Garda Ombudsman attended the scene of the crash as a matter of routine and a spokesman confirmed last night it was not investigating the incident.

However, traffic was diverted for several hours while this took place.

Officers are appealing for information about the movements of a black Punto on the Barnesmore Gap in the early hours of this morning.

news@irishmirror.ie

l He's lucky, it's a carbon copy of what happened to late Gda McLoughlin GARDA SPOKESMAN AND, RIGHT, GDA MCLOUGHLIN

CAPTION(S):

WRECKAGE Remains of Garda patrol car in Co Donegal yesterday

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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Geographic Code:4EUIR
Date:Mar 19, 2016
Words:419
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