Woman has lucky escape from crashing tree branch

2015-04-22 00:00

A PIETERMARITZBURG woman had a lucky escape yesterday morning when a Jacaranda branch fell on her car, smashing her windscreen.

A waste truck from Central Waste is believed to have crashed against the tree at the corner of Peter Kerchhoff Street and Jabu Ndlovu Street, breaking the branch.

Lauren Craig was on her way to work when she saw the tree branch fall and stopped just as it fell onto the bonnet of her VW Polo. If she had been there a few moments earlier, the accident could have been more serious and the massive branch could have crashed onto the roof of her car.

The branch broke off and lodged between the cabin and the bin of the truck.

Craig said the truck was travelling in the same direction as her towards the centre of town.

“I was driving next to the truck and I think it caught the branch with its bin. I saw the branch coming down and I just stopped,” she said.

She suffered no injuries.

“I am fine. I am not in shock. I think there is damage to my car and it looks like the windscreen has been shattered,” she said.

Rodney Trenam from Msunduzi Fire said Craig was very lucky to have stopped when she did. “If she had stopped a moment later, this would have been worse,” he said.

The incident closed both lanes of traffic and cars looking to join Burger Street from Peter Kerchhoff Street had to turn back.

Juan Stieger, the transport manager at Central Waste, said he did not know exactly what had happened.

“My driver told me that another car tried to overtake him. He swerved out of the way and hit the tree.”

He said his driver had not been injured in the accident.

Jane Derengi, one of the first people at the scene, said the Jacaranda trees should be removed because they are old and rotten. “They break and fall on top of cars even when there is little wind,” she said.

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