Storm Arwen: Friends make a pact with death as a tree falls onto a car while they unload their shopping


Les had parked the car outside his mate’s house, and the pair were unloading their purchases when the tree in the park next to the house fell in Greater Manchester.

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Storm Arwen – Tree falls on Manchester car

Two men managed to escape death after extreme weather caused a tree to fall on top their car during unloading from a shopping trip.

Storm Arwen was raging across the UK last night. Les Webb was returning home from IKEA to Anthony Blanchard’s house, where he was staying. Manchester Evening News reports .

Les had left his Honda Jazz car outside and the men were loading their new IKEA purchases from their trip when the tree opposite the house fell on them both.

Amazingly, the car weighed the same as the trunk of the tree. Les, 54, was spared, while Anthony, 47, was left with minor scrapes from the branches.

They struggled to get out of danger and firefighters arrived quickly.

Anthony said that he had told the Manchester Evening News : “If the car hadn’t been there, we would have been killed.”

Stockport council re-enablement support staff continued: “It has saved our lives. But were engulfed by the branches and leaves and we had to battle our way out.

“It’s amazing to me how fortunate we have been. It’s terrifying to read about people getting killed by falling trees.”

Mobile music teacher Les, who lives at Springhead in Oldham, says he now faces a race against time to find another car to carry out his job.

“My car is a write-off but it has certainly saved us. It’s amazing that we were not killed.

“I saw the tree coming down as we were unloading the boot, and it just seemed to happen in slow motion. It was very frightening, but we are lucky to still be here.”

Council workers quickly arrived to remove the tree, which was near Cheadle heath Park’s edge and stretched across the entire length of the road when it fell.

The news about the lucky escape comes shortly after three people were killed in the storm.

Headteacher Francis LaganHe was killed when a tree fell onto his car. A second man also died when a tree fell upon him on Friday, in Ambleside (Cumbbria).

Yesterday’s weather warnings were in effect across the UK, with amber alerts throughout the North East and Eastern Scotland, as well as the South West of England.

Over 120 lorries were stuck in snowy conditions on the M62 near Greater Manchester. Police shut down the motorway while ploughs, gritters and other rescue workers helped.

Numerous crashes were reported by UK police agencies. Roads were closed for fallen trees, snow and ice. Over 130,000 homes were left without power on cold nights in the north.

People who lived in the most difficult areas were encouraged to stay at home due to the dangerous conditions.

Overnight, the red warning, which was the first maximum alert since Storm Dennis in Feb 2020, expired. But amber warnings and yellow warnings about wind still remain.

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