‘I can’t believe that we walked away from this...’

DAMAGE The smashed bonnet of the car.  Inset, Jeni and Terry Stewart
DAMAGE The smashed bonnet of the car. Inset, Jeni and Terry Stewart
A Ryanair plane. Picture: Wiki Commons (labelled for reuse)

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A COUPLE have described their brush with death when their car was crushed by a falling tree.

Jeni Stewart told The News she was lucky to be alive after the huge trunk twice landed on her vehicle, barely missing her and her husband.

Terry and Jeni Stewart

Terry and Jeni Stewart

The 57-year-old was driving her husband Terry – who suffers from leukaemia – home from Queen Alexandra Hospital, in Cosham, when the tree came crashing down.

It struck the bonnet of their blue Kia Rio before bouncing onto the rear windscreen.

Miraculously, they were left with only minor injuries.

Mrs Stewart, of Brookside Close, Denmead, said: ‘From my right side I saw something coming towards the car, then it hit us.

‘The impact was incredible – it landed inches from us and pushed the engine up into the front seat.

‘Then it sort of bounced over us and landed on the back windscreen, only just missing us again.

‘Thinking about it now is making me feel shaky – it was so scary, I can’t believe neither of us were seriously hurt.’

The accident happened as Mr and Mrs Stewart travelled along Southwick Road, Southwick, at about 12.45pm while violent storms swept the south on Tuesday.

Mrs Stewart said that after the accident fellow drivers leapt into action – stopping traffic and cutting back branches to free her and her 61-year-old husband.

‘There was a guy driving a pizza delivery van and someone in a big black car who parked in the road and stopped the traffic,’ she said.

‘They were brilliant and I can’t thank them enough.

‘If they hadn’t blocked the road I don’t know what would have happened.

‘If another car had hit us it would have been a disaster.

‘Then someone else came along with a chainsaw and cut the branches away so we could be freed from the car.

‘It was so kind of all of them, they saved our lives.’

The couple were taken to QA following the crash but have now returned home.

Mrs Stewart said: ‘My husband is still in shock and I hurt my neck.

‘I came round and thought “this hurts” but I was so lucky it wasn’t serious. I still can’t believe we both walked away.

‘The policeman said that by rights we shouldn’t be here. I feel so lucky to be alive. Somebody was looking after us.’

PC Martin Cunningham, from Waterlooville police station, said: ‘They had a very narrow escape and were very fortunate.

‘The other people at the scene were fantastic – they really looked after the Stewarts until the emergency services arrived.’