Driver tells of lucky escape as falling tree smashes onto her car
A motorist has described her narrow escape from death after a tree fell on her car as she was driving to work in high winds.
Louise Henderson (31), an advertising sales executive, had decided to avoid the motorway and travel into work along Belfast's Antrim Road, as she thought it would be safer in the stormy conditions.
But her car is now a write-off after a huge tree smashed through the windscreen and roof during the morning commute.
"I was just driving and next thing I heard a loud bang and my windscreen shattered and the roof came in on my car," she said.
"I had the feeling that something had fallen on me so I slammed on the brakes and the car stopped. I started shaking and crying."
Ms Henderson said she was struggling to get the car door open in the immediate aftermath of the incident when two men came to her rescue and helped her out of the vehicle.
"The ambulance came then and the fire brigade and the police. As far as I know the car is completely written off," she said.
"The way I understand it is that, as the tree fell, it hit the windscreen and the roof and I drove through it as it fell – so thankfully I didn't get the full impact.
"I had to go to hospital to get checked over and I am so lucky. I just had a small scratch on my wrist and whiplash."
Louise said she was still reeling from what happened.
"I am so lucky," she said.
A number of roads were closed yesterday morning due to fallen trees, including part of the Antrim Toad, the Spa Road at Ballynahinch, Ballyward Road in Co Down, Rathgael Road in Bangor, Crawfordsburn Road in Bangor and Mearne Road in Downpatrick. The Hillhead Road at Knockloughrim was blocked due to a fallen tree, as was the Saintfield Road in Belfast and the Coleraine to Limavady Mountain Road.
Main Street in Portrush was closed to traffic after police became concerned over an unsafe roof. The A29 Moneymore Road dual carriageway at Cookstown was closed in both directions due to unstable buildings at Dunman creamery, and the Tannamore Road in Randalstown was closed after a shed roof blew off.
Meanwhile, part of a Spar shop at Grosvenor Road in west Belfast collapsed yesterday morning. Staff had a lucky escape as they were moving signs from the front of the building due to the severe winds when the side of the building fell down.