Drama at Ganavan as runaway car rolls down slipway

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A man has been taken to hospital after a runaway car rolled down the slipway at Ganavan Sands – missing a family on the beach by inches.

At the scene today, a child’s buggy could be seen caught beneath the front of the Peugeot which had been parked in the car park.

Eyewitnesses told the Oban Times that fortunately a young child had been scooped to safety in time, although an older male member of the party was injured in the collision.

Shaken eyewitness John Gallacher, of Oban, was at the beach when he heard ‘a lot of screaming’ and people yelling ‘for God’s sake get out of the way’.

Mr Gallacher, who rang 999, said: ‘I saw the car rolling down the slipway. I thought at one point there was someone in it but there wasn’t, it was empty.

‘It tumbled off the side of the slipway going on its side first of all and then righting itself.

‘Thankfully there was no one in the buggy but at one point it was thought there could have been.’

Mr Gallagher, who said his heart had jumped out of his chest at witnessing the incident, added: ‘The owner of the vehicle is bound to be in shock too – it was a pure accident, definitely.’

Police officers at the scene.

It is understood there could have been up to half a dozen people in the group.

Close to where the car came to a halt were abandoned beach towels, buckets and spades and camping chairs.

Another eyewitness, who asked not to be named, said: ‘The car was rolling down and a woman was screaming ‘watch out, watch out,’ and there was a group of people sitting there, including a baby and pram, and all of them moved to get out of the way.’

‘But there was a guy who was a bit older and while he was stood up looking around, it was too late and the car hit him, but thankfully it didn’t go over him.

‘The poor man rolled down but it had hurt his back, but maybe it was him who stopped the car.’

It is not known how old the child was but people at the scene estimated it was aged around one.

An ambulance on the slipway.

Another eyewitness added: ‘I thought for a minute someone was trying to park on the slipway but then realised there was no driver.’

Another said: ‘Because people were shouting and screaming, the group has then turned and jumped out of the way.

‘I would say they were very lucky, very, very lucky. It could have been a very different outcome.’

Emergency crews raced to the scene at around 3.15pm with several police, fire and ambulance crews in attendance.

The beauty spot was full of visitors enjoying the afternoon, many of whom were being interviewed by police officers afterwards.

Recovery firms were also called to the scene to recover the stricken vehicle.

A relative of the driver told the Oban Times: ‘She was parked up and apparently she got a ticket from the machine, went back and it was still parked there and then walked away for a bit and then it started rolling down (the slipway). That’s all I know.

‘She’s very shocked and all my thoughts are with the chap and the people that were with him. I really hope he’s ok.’

A spokesperson for Police Scotland said: ‘Police were called to a report of a man being injured after a car rolled on to Ganavan Sands, Oban. Emergency services are in attendance and enquiries are continuing.’