Collette Kenny, 26, from Carrigallen has miraculously survived a plane crash in which the pilot was killed in Southern California last month.

Kenny was thrown from a light aircraft after it struck a mobile phone tower designed to look like a tree in the scenic Lake Mathews area between Laguna Beach and Riverside in Southern California. She is recovering from a number of broken bones and other injuries.

Kenny was on holidays with her cousin Catherine Smith from Ballinamore, visiting relatives in California when the accident happened.

The pair left for a “holiday of a lifetime” and spent a few days in Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon before moving on to visit their aunt in Laguna Beach.

According to Smith’s parents Cyril and Veronica, the pair were brought out sightseeing by a good friend of the family in a light aircraft.

The experienced pilot had a two seater aircraft. Smith was the first one to fly in the plane. The experience lasted about 20 minutes and then Kenny went for the flight.

“Something went wrong, but we don’t know what yet,” Cyril Smith said.