A HUNTINGDON man says he feels lucky to be alive after a 40ft tree fell on top of his car.

A HUNTINGDON man has said he feels lucky to be alive after a 40ft tree fell on top of his car.

Darren Gipp was driving along Buttsgrove Way, near the Thongsley turning in Huntingdon, on Monday when an ash tree landed on his silver Ford Galaxy, smashing the windscreen.

The father of five had dropped his partner, Charlene, and three of their children off minutes before the tree tumbled down at 3pm. He was on his way to work at RGE in Godmanchester, where he is employed as a factory worker.

Speaking to The Hunts Post, Mr Gipp, 27, of Gimber Court, Huntingdon, said he felt lucky to be alive.

He said: "It has only just sunk it. I was driving along and then I saw a tree hit the windscreen. When it happened, I just sat there for a few minutes because I was quite shocked: then I got out of the car.

"I realise I'm lucky just to have suffered a graze to my head and to have been left a little shaken. It could have been a lot worse.

"I'm thankful that my children and partner were not in the car."

In addition to smashing the windscreen, the tree damaged the bonnet, roof and wing mirrors, and Mr Gipp is waiting to see whether it will be written off.

He said he felt angry that action had not been taken to remove the tree earlier.

"Now that I've got over the initial shock, I feel quite annoyed," he said.

"If the car can be repaired, I have to pay £450 and I'll have to foot the bill even though it wasn't my fault.

"I think more should have been done to remove the tree earlier or to make it safe."

The tree blocked the road and resulted in delays as parents tried to collect their children from nearby Thongsley Fields School. It had been removed from the road by Huntingdonshire District Council operations staff at 4pm.

A spokesman for the council said it was strong winds that had caused the tree to fall.

She said: "I have spoken to our operations division who have confirmed that the tree was brought down by the winds. As soon as we heard about the situation we responded immediately and sent out two people who chopped up the tree and removed it from the site."