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Six local soccer supporters have a lucky escape

Eri White, front with the 6 local supporters who were involved in a head on collision in Wales, Dessie Kelly, Denis Shiels, Shaun Sandilands, Jason Gibson, Niall Gildea and Ernie Pollock.


SIX well known Letterkenny soccer supporters had a lucky escape when their taxi was involved in a head-on collision on Tuesday morning.
Former Donegal League Secretary Dessie Kelly, Ulster Senior League Registrar Jason Gibson and Milford United manager Shaun Sandilands together with Ernie Pollock, Niall Gildea and Denis Shiels were among the 3,000 strong Irish support who were in Cardiff on Monday night. The group, who were all staying in the same hotel in Cardiff, had cheered Martin O’Neill’s team to victory over Wales and were making their way towards Bristol Airport when the accident happened.
Jason Gibson said that everyone had been left shaken but that things could have been much worse.
“We had pre-booked the taxi to collect us at 4.45am from the hotel in Cardiff to take us to Bristol for a 7am flight back to Belfast. We had been in the car for about an hour or so and were only five miles from the airport when the accident happened. The only way I can describe it is that the driver must have thought that he was still on the dual carriageway as he overtook a car and oil lorry when he suddenly realised that there was a car coming straight at us. He pulled in alongside the oil lorry to avoid the oncoming car and caught the back wheels of the lorry while the car coming in the other direction also veered to avoid striking us.
“Both vehicles were complete write-offs and, to be quite honest, it was pretty scary. Dessie (Kelly) was in the front and we were concerned about him as he took a rap from the airbags which had opened on impact.
“Thankfully, the paramedics checked him out and allowed him to continue his journey. We were all well shook but it could have been much worse,” he said.
‘Lucky enough’
Members of the group were in France last year and were also in Poland for the last European Championship finals.
“We’ve been lucky enough to have been to Wembley, Hampden and Paris to watch Ireland play and Monday was definitely one of the better nights. The atmosphere was unreal and we’re all now looking forward to next Tuesday’s draw for the play-offs. We’ll all be at the Aviva but we’re not sure about the away leg just yet.
“We’re delighted that Ireland have got through to the play-offs and we all really enjoyed the occasion but it just goes to show that you can take nothing for granted.
“When I saw that car coming towards us on Tuesday morning I honestly thought we were all going to be killed.
“You just never know,” he said.

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