Survivor of pier tragedy tells victim's family of final moments as car sank

The man who escaped from a sinking car which claimed the life of another young man off Co Donegal has told the dead man’s family of his last tragic moments.

Lee Early (26) drowned when his car slid off Poolawaddy Pier on Arranmore Island into freezing waters just after 5am on Sunday.

A second man who was in the car managed to escape from the vehicle and swim to safety.

This man was able to pinpoint the exact location of the car before it was swept out to sea.

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Island spokesperson Jerry Early, a cousin of Lee’s father Jimmy, said it was a small but very comforting consolation for the bereaved family.

“The man who survived has been able to speak to the family. He is devastated at what happened.

“He is full of sadness and has so many questions of his own he is trying to answer.

“We have lost one of our community and we could have lost two and we are thankful that is not the case.

“It is a small comfort but at least he was able to tell Lee’s family what happened and they will not be left wondering what exactly did happen in the years to come.

“He was also a great help to the lifeboat in locating the car and locating Lee as it could have been swept out to sea,” said Mr Early.

He described Lee as “a real islander”.

“If he was in Letterkenny he’d be longing to get back to the island. He was one of the people you would look to who would be driving the island forward.”

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