A MILFORD family had a miraculous escape after high winds brought an enormous tree crashing down on their car as they drove out of the village yesterday morning (Sunday).
The driver, who asked not to be named, was at the wheel of the the silver Audi Allroad with his wife and four-year-old daughter inside, when the incident occurred on the B3058 Lymington Road close to Milford Primary School at 8.50am.
He told the A&T: “It all happened in a flash. We were travelling along the road and literally the next thing we knew was the tree was falling.
“It landed on the bonnet and windscreen and then kind of bounced along the roof causing more dents and damage.
“I take a quite pragmatic view – there is no point in thinking about the what-ifs. The fact is we were very lucky. When we came to a stop part of the tree was still inside the car.”
Just a couple of minutes after the incident an ambulance came along the road and the paramedics stopped to check everyone was okay. They had only suffered cuts and minor injuries.
The Audi owner said: “Although the ambulance was on another call out they couldn’t get along the road so they were happy to check us over quickly.
“They then contacted the police who arrived around 10 minutes later.
“Everyone was very attentive and helpful. I can’t praise them enough.”
The tree fall also brought down overhead power lines which resulted in the closure of the B3058 until around 8pm on Sunday evening.
Following the incident he even contacted Audi to praise them for the robustness of his vehicle.
He said: “I sent them the photo and wrote to them to basically say thank you for making such a good car – it could have been a very different outcome.”
He added: “Our friends who live nearby came out and saw what was going on and really looked after us so I would just like to say a big thank you to them for all their help and kindness as well.”
The storm caused disruption across the New Forest and Christchurch with roads and rail obstructed by falling trees.
The train line at Sway was blocked on Sunday morning, causing ongoing disruption on the network until about 9pm.
Network Rail imposed a 50mph speed restriction on the South Western Railway network, and Hampshire Fire and Rescue warned drivers to take care.
Also on Sunday morning a tree came down on Lymington Road, Highcliffe, near the golf course. There were other road blockages around the district including in Hythe and Totton amid powerful gusts.
There was also a report of a tree down on Monday across the Ornamental Drive near Brockenhurst. Another spell of blowy weather had been predicted by the Met Office for Wednesday across much of England, including Hampshire and Dorset.