A father and his two children have died after their car careered down an embankment and into a lake during a storm.
John Mullan, 49, died in the vehicle and his children Thomas, 14 and Amelia, 6, managed to escape but were pronounced dead soon after.
Their mother Geraldine Mullan, 45, was also in the car. She survived the crash and raised the alarm.
The family were returning from a day out when they lost control of their vehicle, which plunged into Lough Foyle in County Donegal, Northern Ireland.
The Mullens, from Moville, became trapped in their black Mitsubishi ASX SUV car.
Mrs Mullan managed to get onto the upturned wreckage of the car and was rescued.
She was rushed to Letterkenny University Hospital where her injuries are not believed to be life-threatening, but police say she is severely traumatised.
Garda Superintendent Eugene McGovern of Buncrana Garda station was at the scene. He said conditions were poor and the night was wet and windy.
He also revealed how the stretch of road had recently been resurfaced. Investigators will examine if this may have contributed to the tragedy.
McGovern said: “We knew fairly early on that we were dealing with a family situation here and it was very difficult.
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“We still don’t know what caused Mr Mullan to veer off the road but we will carry out a full investigation into all the circumstances.”
He added: “It is just difficult to find words for the families involved.
“This is an awful tragedy for the immediate families but also for the wider community as the family are well known and respected in the locality.”
Local Donegal Deputies Padraig Mac Lochlainn and Pearse Doherty paid tribute to the family.
Deputy Mac Lochlainn said: “This is such a heartbreaking tragedy and myself and Deputy Pearse Doherty want to convey our deepest sympathy to the family and friends of the man and two children who have died.
“The people of Inishowen and Donegal have suffered more than most from road tragedies over the years and we have no doubt that our people will do all that we can to support the devastated family at this terrible time and in the time ahead”.
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