News

Tree branch crashes through windscreen in 'mini-cyclone'

SHOCKING MOMENT: Venessa McGrath’s photo of her car crushed by a fallen tree.
SHOCKING MOMENT: Venessa McGrath’s photo of her car crushed by a fallen tree.

WITH the crash of a falling tree and the smashing of their car windscreen, Venessa McGrath and her daughter Courtney's drive home ended just centimetres from tragedy.

In the midst of the wild thunderstorm that ripped through the Clarence Valley on Monday afternoon, with winds above 100kmh, the tree fell onto the front of their car. A 20cm thick branch crashed through the windscreen straight in front of Venessa, who was driving.

Miraculously it skewered the car between the pair. Courtney was lucky she had bent down to get something from her bag as the limb passed between them.

Meanwhile on Eight Mile Ln, another driver had a lucky escape as a stick passed through his windscreen, narrowly missing him.

Venessa had just picked up Courtney from TAFE and the pair was travelling on Kangaroo Creek Rd when the storm hit.

"It was windy and rainy. I could see branches falling on the road in front of me so I slowed right down," Mrs McGrath said.

"Then I could see a tree coming."

The branch that burst into the cabin of Venessa McGrath's car, narrowly missing her and her daughter.
The branch that burst into the cabin of Venessa McGrath's car, narrowly missing her and her daughter.

Despite the close call their only injuries were scratches on their hands and a lap full of glass.

"Someone must have been watching over us," Mrs McGrath said.

"My daughter was leaning down, getting something out of her bag. If she was sitting upright the tree would have got her.

"I just sat down and burst into tears. I think I'm still in shock."

The car is now in an insurance holding yard awaiting assessment.

"We are just lucky to be alive. Don't take anything for granted."

Pillar Valley man Grahame Pegg was driving on Eight Mile Ln about 3pm when traffic slowed down to about 20kmh in the heavy rain.

Mr Pegg said he was third car in the line of traffic when they came to a standstill.

The first car in the line had driven into a tree that had fallen onto the road.

"The driver said, 'I nearly had a heart attack, that thing came straight through my windshield'," Mr Pegg said.

"His windshield went boof, and there was a stick through it."

Mr Pegg described the conditions like a mini-cyclone.

"The rain was flogging down. You couldn't see anything.

"Coming down the highway where the new blueberry farm is there were limbs falling off trees.

"You could only do 30kmh. The rain and hail was so thick."

Topics:  clarence valley, editors picks, storm




Join the Community.

Get your local news, your way.

Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Strikes cancelled as Essential Energy drafts new agreement

Essential Energy workers are set to go on strike.

About 150 power workers have been ordered not to engage in strikes.

Minister delves into Dirtgirl creators’ world

LEARNING EXPERIENCE: Dirtgirl creators Cate McQuillen and Hewey Eustace look over the plans for the soon to be completed sustainability learning facility.

State environment minister Mark Speakman gave thumps up to Dirtgirl.

Almost half of all foreign visitors go to the North Coast

Tourism suffers: Wategos Beach at Byron Bay, a popular holiday destination for domestic and overseas tourists, who are altering their travel plans due to the strength of the Australian dollar.

North Coast tops regional tourism numbers

Latest deals and offers

IBAC Evidence Police Bashing 5

Officers drag the woman back to her cell

In this video the woman drinks water from the toilet.

IBAC Evidence Police Bashing 4

In this video the woman asks for water as the tap in the room is broken

IBAC Evidence Police Bashing 3

In this video police continue their search and male officers are present despite...

Perfect time to invest in Northern Rivers property

The Northern Rivers rental market is tighter than Sydney making it the perfect time for investors to get better returns out of property than superannuation or banks deposits.

Low interest rates and tight rental market are prime time to invest