Europe

Ulster rally: Strabane driver Pat Kirk 'lucky to be alive'

Pat Kirk (left) has been rallying since his early 20s Image copyright Kirk Family
Image caption Pat Kirk (left) has been rallying since his early 20s

The family of a veteran rally driver have said he is "lucky to be alive" after he crashed while taking part in the Ulster Rally last Friday.

Pat Kirk from Strabane, suffered a fractured skull, broken pelvis and multiple internal injuries from the crash in County Tyrone.

The 63-year-old has been rallying for more than 40 years.

His nephew, Peter McDermott, praised the quick actions of the medical team.

He said the crash happened at a corner.

"The impact was on the drivers door, so Pat took most of the damage to the right hand side of his body," he said.

"The medical team arrived. They quickly established that he had a head injury.

"They knew quite quickly and that he would potentially have rib problems and potential pelvis problems."

'Punctured lung'

The medical team had to cut away part of the damaged car to pull Mr Kirk free. He is currently in Belfast's Royal Victoria Hospital.

"Motor sport doesn't go without risks, but, I have to say, we have a lot of gratitude to the medical team who quickly established his condition, removed him from the car and handed him over to the hospital.

"The way we were looked after we couldn't ask for better," added Mr McDermott.