Menu
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



BEHIND THE SPORTS DESK: Is de Minaur the next big thing?

Alex de Minaur of Australia reacts against Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic during round one, on day two of the Australian Open tennis tournament, in Melbourne, Tuesday, January 16, 2018. (AAP Image/Lukas Coch) NO ARCHIVING, EDITORIAL USE ONLY

Moose and Pottsy dissect the big issues in sport.

10 things to do this week

Diane Lee of Townsend was named the 2017 Clarence Valley Citizen of the Year at a dinner at the South Grafton Ex-Servicemen's Club.

Looking for something to do?

Scholarship places student on diet path

Zari Cansdell receives the Frank Glasson Memorial Scholarship plaque by Don Philbrook from the Grafton Midday Rotary Club.

Scholarship helps pave the way to Cansdell's university dream

Local Partners