A DELIVERY driver had ‘a very lucky escape’ after his van was struck by a falling tree.

The driver was trapped in his van and had to be cut free by firefighters and rushed to hospital in an ambulance.

The tree came down shortly before 10.12am on Lowther Road, Charminster directly across the road and into the path of an Asda delivery van.

Station manager Stuart Granger said: “The tree fell across the road in the path of a home delivery van and the branches smashed the windscreen.

“The injuries are probably caused by the fact that the driver had to stop abruptly so he became medically trapped.”

Crews from Springbourne and Redhill Park attended the scene and cut the door in order to rescue the driver.

Station Manager Granger added: “The driver had a very lucky escape because just a few seconds later and it could have been different.”

The driver was taken to Poole Hospital with neck and back injuries that were not thought to be serious.

The tree was cut up and removed from the road by the local authority and the road reopened shortly before midday.

An Asda spokesman said: “Our first concern was the welfare of our colleague and we’re pleased to say that, although a little shaken up, he has come through the incident unscathed.

“We’d like to thank the emergency services for their fast thinking and quick response when dealing with this incident.”

See all our weather pictures in a gallery here

Elsewhere, many trees came down across the county as winds of up to 59mph battered the area and the coastline.

Trees were also down in Meyrick Road and Christchurch bypass, with many blocking roads and causing traffic disruption.

A spokesperson for Poole council gave a strong warning for people to “avoid the beaches during the ongoing storm as the high tide combined with gale force winds make the coastline very dangerous”.

More weather stories, pictures and advice at bournemouthecho.co.uk/dorsetweather