Woman dies after storm tree horror
A woman died after being impaled by a branch when a tree crashed on to her car during heavy rain and high winds which continued to cause disruption across the UK.
The woman, 55, was taken to hospital in Wakefield, West Yorkshire, following the incident at about 8.30 on Thursday night but died soon afterwards.
West Yorkshire Police said the woman, from Pontefract, was taken to hospital after the Vauxhall Zafira she was travelling in was hit by the tree on Aberford Road, Wakefield.
A 54-year-old man who was driving the car before the fatal incident in Wakefield was also hurt but his injuries are not thought to be life-threatening.
A police spokesman said a number of homes in the area were evacuated overnight and the road - the A642 Wakefield to Rothwell - will remain closed for two days while some of the trees are removed. Three fire crews were called to the scene to free the casualties and a fire service spokesman described the woman as having been "impaled".
A local tree surgeon at the scene claimed the trees that line the road could have become "brittle" through traffic fumes. Ian Humphries said: "Unfortunately, looking at the tree, the first thing that comes to mind is it has not been maintained in a long while."
The incident happened as high winds and heavy rain battered many parts of the UK. As gusts reached 100mph, aircraft had to be diverted from Leeds-Bradford airport where the wind speeds caused havoc for some incoming flights.
In Lancashire, gale force winds caused up to £1 million worth of damage to the Blackpool illuminations, the resort's council said.
The popular decorative lights were battered by last night's extreme conditions along the exposed Irish Sea coast.
Worst-hit areas were north-west England, Yorkshire and the Humber. Other parts of the country badly battered included Anglesey and Northern Ireland, where downed power lines left thousands of homes without power, while localised flooding was reported in other parts of Wales and the Isle of Wight.