A grandfather today told how he and his family had a miraculous escape after a tree fell onto the roof of his moving car as Blackpool was battered by howling winds.
Sales rep Bill Parr was driving along East Park Drive in Blackpool with two of his daughters and his seven-week-old granddaughter when a 20ft tree crashed to the ground, hitting his car.
Blackpool Council workers are now inspecting all trees around the Stanley Park area to ensure they are safe – as more high winds and bad weather are expected to batter the Fylde coast today.
Mr Parr, 62, said: “It was like an explosion of wood.
“One minute I was just driving and the next minute the car was rocking side to side and branches and pieces wood were banging and bashing us from all sides.
“I didn’t see it coming, because I was looking straight ahead, but I did see a little old lady running for her life as the tree began to fall. It was really terrifying.
“My daughter Heather was in the front seat next to me and she said she just froze when she saw the tree begin to fall.
“At one point it was like driving through a massive bush. I was so scared for my family who were in the car.”
The father-of-three had been driving his red Vauxhall Zafira towards Blackpool’s Model Village when the top 14ft of the tree, which lines Stanley Park, collapsed around 2.15pm on Sunday.
Mr Parr, of Warwick Place, Normoss, said: “Luckily none of us were hurt but we were very shaken up.
“There is a dint to the roof just over the exact place where my little granddaughter Billie was sat. The police officer who came to see if we were OK said we had a very lucky escape.
“If the tree had been solid and not rotten like it was we all could have died.”
On Sunday, wind speeds in Blackpool reached 48mph while they were recorded at 33mph yesterday.
Firefighters in St Annes were called to Sir Frank Whittle Way at 2.30pm yesterday after two sheets of cladding became loose from a property.
Forecasters are predicting wind speeds will reach similar levels today, although it is expected to brighten up tomorrow with sunny spells and lower wind speeds.