Updated: Thursday, 12th December 2019 @ 5:54am

'Miraculous' escape for Manchester van driver as 70-FOOT TREE crashes through windscreen on way to work

'Miraculous' escape for Manchester van driver as 70-FOOT TREE crashes through windscreen on way to work

By David Keane

A Manchester driver had a lucky escape this morning when high winds brought down a 70-FOOT TREE on top of his van – yet he miraculously escaped with only minor injuries.

The giant tree crashed down in front of the builder on his way to work in Manchester on Birchfields Road, Longsight, at 10am this morning.

Despite the tree coming down on top of his windscreen, the driver had escaped with only minor cuts and bruises by the time emergency services arrived.

The builder, who preferred not to be named, told MM: “I saw it coming down in front of us as we were driving along and I just slammed on my brakes.

“It could have been a lot worse! It’s just one of those things I suppose.”

CRUSHED: The front of the van is destroyed by 70 foot tree (Pic: GMFRS)

Crews from Gorton and Moss Side fire stations rushed to the scene along with Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service and Greater Manchester Police.

Station Manager Dave Hughes is warning motorists to be extra vigilant today as high winds are predicted throughout the day.

“He was very lucky to escape with just cuts and bruises. Crews are currently working to clear the scene, but the road will remain closed until the mid-afternoon,” he said.

“We are expecting high winds throughout the day and are asking motorists to take extra care on the roads.”

'VERY LUCKY': Narrow escape for van driver on way to work (Picture: Dave Porter)

Eye-witness Dave Porter, a media law lecturer in Manchester city centre, said he saw the scene only moments after the tree had come down.

"It was such a lucky escape for the driver," he said. "It really was a huge tree and it all happened so close to houses too.

"If it had been just a few feet bigger it might have come down into some houses!"

ON SCENE: Firefighters assess damage after man is safely out of van (Pic: Dave Porter)

The surrounding roads are cordoned off and diversions are in place around the junction between Birchfields Road and Anson Road at the top of Upper Brook Street.

Updates to follow.

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