VIDEO: Pair lucky to live after tree falls on van

Billy Harwod and, right, Chris Lloyd who were in this van when a tree fell on to it

Eyewitnesses Antonia Holloway, Natalie Holloway, Lauren Simper and Sammi Peacock

First published in News by

TWO workers had a miracle escape when a 70ft oak tree crashed down on top their van.

Chris Lloyd had stopped at the traffic lights next to St Mary’s Church in Ferndown when he turned to apprentice Billy Harwood and said “God loves you,” before he saw the giant tree falling towards them.

A branch hit the ground and is believed to have prevented the trunk crushing the van before shocked witnesses saw other motorists driving their cars through the gap under the tree as it rested on the Mercedes Sprinter van.

Chris, 46, from Poole, said he was trying to cheer Billy up in their W+S Recycling Services vehicle before the tree fell.

“I was coming down Ringwood Road and outside St Mary’s Church the traffic stopped,” he said.

“Billy was feeling a bit down and I turned to him and joked ‘God loves you’.

“Then the tree came down straight onto the top of the truck just behind where we were.

“We couldn’t open the doors.

“We heard the crunching as it came down and afterwards we climbed out of the windows.

“We’re pretty shaken. The ambulance checked us over.

“And the truck looks like it’s a write-off.”

Billy, 17, also from Poole, said Chris saw it first and said to “get down”.

“I held my head between my knees,” he said.

“It was shaking the van like mad and we had to climb out of the windows as the doors wouldn’t open.”

Roofer Shaun Teversham was up scaffolding at the church when he heard the tree starting to creak and turned around to see it falling before dialling 999.

He said: “It was slowly going down, making a hell of a mess.

“It was creaking and going.

“It hit the van and there was one branch which hit the ground and stopped the main trunk of the tree hitting the floor.

“If that branch had hit the van, it would’ve gone straight through.”

Shaun was among those shocked to see people driving through under the tree trunk after it fell just before lunchtime yesterday.

He said: “Someone came along with bikes on the back of their car and couldn’t get through once they got under the trunk so they reversed out.”

Bystanders believed the tree was uprooted after being hit by strong winds overnight and brought down electricity and telegraph cables as it fell.

People from the church put down cones to stop the drivers driving under the tree before the police arrived and shut the road.

Traffic quickly backed up in both directions and down Dudsbury Road with heavy traffic as far back as Parley Cross while tree surgeons took the tree apart and technicians arrived to fix the cables.

Traffic horrendous

WITNESSES to the drama were relieved to see the pair emerge unscathed.

Natalie Holloway, 41, went out to walk her dog poppy with her daughter Antonia, 11, and her friend Lauren Simper when she saw the van.

Natalie said: “It’s lucky nobody was killed. The traffic has been absolutely horrendous.”

Samantha Paul, 25, was in her car on the opposite side of the traffic lights on Ringwood Road coming towards the centre of Ferndown when the tree fell.

She said: “I saw the car moving and the tree on top of it and I nearly cried.

“I was going that way and it could’ve been me.”

Sammi Peacock, 30, was on her way to work at the White Heather pub.

She said: “I saw all the branches swaying in the wind before it happened.

“There was one that was sticking out more and when I saw the tree was down I thought ‘Oh my God’.”

Comments (12)

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9:41am Sat 9 Jun 12

hampreston harriet says...

'shocked to see people driving through under the tree trunk after it fell' - this just beggars belief. What is the matter with people these days? Don't they have any common sense at all?
'shocked to see people driving through under the tree trunk after it fell' - this just beggars belief. What is the matter with people these days? Don't they have any common sense at all? hampreston harriet
  • Score: 0

10:10am Sat 9 Jun 12

Say-it-how-it-is says...

Glad they are ok. But the selfish person on the other post doesn't really care as money is far more important than a life. And for people driving under the tree, that is just madness. Yes common sense isn't really there with some people out there.
Glad they are ok. But the selfish person on the other post doesn't really care as money is far more important than a life. And for people driving under the tree, that is just madness. Yes common sense isn't really there with some people out there. Say-it-how-it-is
  • Score: 0

10:37am Sat 9 Jun 12

hampreston harriet says...

Sorry, am I missing something here? I can't understand why you think I'm selfish and that I don't really care. I was simply commenting on the fact that people would even attempt to drive under the branches of a fallen tree.
Sorry, am I missing something here? I can't understand why you think I'm selfish and that I don't really care. I was simply commenting on the fact that people would even attempt to drive under the branches of a fallen tree. hampreston harriet
  • Score: 0

10:40am Sat 9 Jun 12

Say-it-how-it-is says...

Not you. On a other post about this story.
Not you. On a other post about this story. Say-it-how-it-is
  • Score: 0

11:30am Sat 9 Jun 12

John T says...

hampreston harriet wrote:
'shocked to see people driving through under the tree trunk after it fell' - this just beggars belief. What is the matter with people these days? Don't they have any common sense at all?
Perhaps, 'what is the matter with people these days' is summed up in the statement of witness, Samantha Paul, i.e. 'I was going that way and it could have been me.'
Whatever happened to the Big Society and 'we are all in this together'? or was that just 'whistling down the wind'?!
[quote][p][bold]hampreston harriet[/bold] wrote: 'shocked to see people driving through under the tree trunk after it fell' - this just beggars belief. What is the matter with people these days? Don't they have any common sense at all?[/p][/quote]Perhaps, 'what is the matter with people these days' is summed up in the statement of witness, Samantha Paul, i.e. 'I was going that way and it could have been me.' Whatever happened to the Big Society and 'we are all in this together'? or was that just 'whistling down the wind'?! John T
  • Score: 0

11:56am Sat 9 Jun 12

static kill says...

I can't believe nobody has even spared a thought for the poor tree. RIP :(
I can't believe nobody has even spared a thought for the poor tree. RIP :( static kill
  • Score: 0

3:33pm Sat 9 Jun 12

s-pb2 says...

God may love Billy, but she obviously doesnt like white vans much.
God may love Billy, but she obviously doesnt like white vans much. s-pb2
  • Score: 0

7:47pm Sat 9 Jun 12

poolepaul says...

Top picture by the Ohec again....TWO people with crossed arms and looking upset....Keep it up!!!
Top picture by the Ohec again....TWO people with crossed arms and looking upset....Keep it up!!! poolepaul
  • Score: 0

10:32pm Sat 9 Jun 12

jobsworthwatch says...

'Video pair lucky to be alive after tree falls on car?' Do/did they operate the camera car then?
'Video pair lucky to be alive after tree falls on car?' Do/did they operate the camera car then? jobsworthwatch
  • Score: 0

10:51pm Sat 9 Jun 12

penhale says...

Anybody who needs a part time job please apply to the Bournemouth Echo for a job in the arms crossed department.
Anybody who needs a part time job please apply to the Bournemouth Echo for a job in the arms crossed department. penhale
  • Score: 0

1:45am Sun 10 Jun 12

LordLilliput says...

Really, this nonsense has got to stop.

How can you report a serious incident and then show a photo of beaming witnesses with dog in arms like they're posing for the family album?

Editor.. Where are you?
Really, this nonsense has got to stop. How can you report a serious incident and then show a photo of beaming witnesses with dog in arms like they're posing for the family album? Editor.. Where are you? LordLilliput
  • Score: 0

9:06am Mon 11 Jun 12

The-Bleeding-Obvious says...

When I saw the headline for a moment I thought they were referring to the camera car.
When I saw the headline for a moment I thought they were referring to the camera car. The-Bleeding-Obvious
  • Score: 0

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