Woman survives as tree falls on bakkie
Trish Beaver, The Witness
Pietermaritzburg - A Nottingham Road woman has miraculously survived after being almost flattened by a tree during a severe storm on New Year's Eve.
Suzette Droault, 43, had to be rescued with the jaws of life after an old oak tree fell on top of her bakkie.
She sustained minor injuries.
Paramedics at the scene on the Loteni road said Droault had been fetching animal feed and had fed the chickens when the storm struck.
She told The Witness: “I decided to head home quickly as the sky looked really strange and the rain was pelting down, but as I drove away from the carport, which had been sheltering me, a massive oak tree fell across and crushed my bakkie.
“I was stuck in the car, my hand trapped on the steering wheel by the trunk of the tree. I wasn’t panicking as I knew my family were returning soon.
“Ironically, they were almost knocked off the road by another tree which had blown onto the road and so they had decided to come back and get the four-wheel drive to try and tow the tree out of the way, then they discovered me, trapped in my bakkie.
“I had to wait about half an hour for them, but it seemed longer. They called the neighbours and the emergency services.”
Droault said another tree blew over and narrowly missed crushing a toddler sitting in a parked car near the Nottingham Road Spar, while a section of the roof of the Rosetta Hotel had blown off.
- Were you affected by the storm? Send us your eyewitness accounts and photos.