Lucky escape for five people as 200-year-old tree is blown on top of car in storm

PUBLISHED: 09:05 27 January 2014 | UPDATED: 09:43 27 January 2014

Tree falls on top of car in Hartford during storm. Picture: Cindy Eccles

Tree falls on top of car in Hartford during storm. Picture: Cindy Eccles

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Five people had a lucky escape when a 200-year-old horse chestnut tree landed on a car in Huntingdon during a storm on Saturday afternoon (January 25).

Tree falls on top of car in Hartford during storm. Picture: Alastair Hill Tree falls on top of car in Hartford during storm. Picture: Alastair Hill

Five people had a lucky escape when a 200-year-old horse chestnut tree landed on a car in Huntingdon during a storm on Saturday afternoon (January 25).

A green Ford Focus, with five people inside, was driving along Main Street, Hartford, when a tree was blown over by a heavy gust of wind just before 4pm.

One occupant, a woman in her 30s, suffered shoulder injuries and another sustained minor injuries. Both were taken to Hinchingbrooke Hospital, Huntingdon, for further treatment.

The road, at the junction with Old Houghton Road, was blocked completely until 5.30pm when one lane was reopened. It was closed again at 7.40pm for a further 35 minutes for Cambridgeshire County Council’s Highways team to clear up debris.

Tree falls on top of car in Hartford during storm. Picture: Cindy Eccles Tree falls on top of car in Hartford during storm. Picture: Cindy Eccles

Cindy Eccles, of Snowy Way, said: “Had the tree blown to the right, half of my house would be gone.”

Nigel McNichol, also of Snowy Way, added: “These trees are very weak. We thought they would have been removed a long time ago.”

Mary Blackhurst-Hill, said: “Lib Dem Councillor Ste Greenall lives on Snowy Way and he called in fellow Councillor Mike Shellens, and together with a few other neighbours they got out their gardening tools and set to work.

“Things went a bit more quickly when a friend turned up with his chainsaw and in two-and-a-half hours they had the road clear enough for traffic. This was a really big tree.

Tree falls on top of car in Hartford during storm. Picture: Alastair Hill Tree falls on top of car in Hartford during storm. Picture: Alastair Hill

“I’m sure Health and Safety would have had a fit: there were no hard hat in sight and my nine and 11-year-old girls were helping clear up the debris, but the point was that we got the traffic moving much more quickly than if we had waited for the hard-pressed council.

“These poor lads turned up at 7pm to take on the really big trunk which was beyond the capability of a domestic chainsaw. They had been out since 1pm and had a long, long list of jobs. I hate to think what time they eventually got home.

“It was a splendid example of community spirit.”

Do you know the people in the car? Call 01480 443472 or email news@huntspost.co.uk.

Fallen Tree on Hartford Road, Huntingdon Fallen Tree on Hartford Road, Huntingdon

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