Driver and his dog dodge death as tree smashes into car

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Storm Brendan
Morgen Jenkins and his border collie Frank

A MOTORIST and his dog had a lucky escape from Storm Brendan when a huge tree branch came smashing through his windscreen.

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Morgen Jenkins and his border collie Frank were showered with shards of glass when the oak struck his Toyota Hilux as he drove through Burley on his way home from work.

Speaking to the A&T, Mr Jenkins (20) said the incident happened as he slowly passed another fallen tree which was partially blocking the road by Mill Lane with several cows eating ivy from it.

“There was the loudest bloody bang you’ve ever heard and I thought, ‘what is that?’. Then this big tree branch came right down onto the bonnet and windscreen,” he recalled.

“It missed the roof, luckily. There’s safety glass in the windscreen so when it hit there was lots of tiny, really sharp shards everywhere.

“If that branch had fallen a foot further back it would have landed on the roof and, God knows, it could have crushed it.

“It was maybe a foot in diameter – it was a pretty hefty branch.

“It was the loudest bang I’d ever heard, and at first I didn’t realise what it was. It sounded like the car got struck by lightning or something.

“The car shook, and then I saw this log roll off the bonnet and thought, ‘oh s***’. I’d just painted the car a couple of days ago!”

Mr Jenkins escaped unscathed, except for a tiny piece of glass embedded in his finger which he has been unable to remove. Frank was none the worse for his ordeal after being given a quick rub-down with a towel to ensure there was no glass in his fur.

“I drove on for probably five more minutes to get out of the woods, and then stopped by the White Buck in Burley to have a look at the damage,” Mr Jenkins continued.

“I saw one of my wipers had fallen off and, as well as the damage to the windscreen, there was a massive dent in the bonnet.”

Deciding he did not want to wait around in the wind and rain for a recovery driver, Mr Jenkins drove the rest of the way to his Ringwood home. He was still able to see through the driver’s side of the windscreen as the damage was to the passenger side.

The damage has left him unable to help others affected by the extreme weather after being forced to take a couple of days off his job as logger and landscaper for Sopley-based Spotty Dog Landscaping.

Unable to afford to get it repaired professionally, Mr Jenkins said he would be beating the bonnet of his 24-year-old car back into shape with a piece of wood.

“I’m just sitting at home at the moment looking out of the window, knowing I’ve got a lot of things to do,” he continued.

“I’ve had clients texting me saying they’ve got a tree down or their fence has fallen over and saying, ‘Can you come and sort it?’, and I’ve had to say, ‘No, sorry’.”

Although a little shaken by his dramatic experience on Tuesday evening, Mr Jenkins highlighted the fact that everything damaged was replaceable, and was relieved his dog was unharmed.

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