Two people had a lucky escape when a massive tree came crashing down on their car when a reported 'mini-tornado' tore through south-east England on Saturday January 25.

They were left shocked but uninjured after the oak fell across the A323 Fleet to Hartley Wintney road on Saturday afternoon.

Yateley-based policeman Geoffrey Hill, who attended the incident, said it happened at about 4.30pm during a "freak storm".

"The lady driver saw the tree come down in front of her, braked hard but hit it," he said.

"Shocked but uninjured, she is lucky to be alive."

A nearby resident, who preferred not to be named, said the tree came down during a 'weird squall', which resulted in heavy rain and trees 'bending dangerously'.

She added: "I heard something and looked out to see cars all stopped and people running down the road.

"We all raced out and found a car under a big oak tree that had fallen over the Fleet road.

"Both people had got out through the passenger door and were fine, just very badly shaken up and in shock.

"Me and my friend then went to close the road and turn cars around until police arrived.

"If they had been seconds quicker or a few inches either side it may have been different story."


The woman said the car looked like it had 'nicely parked itself into the huge tree'.

She added: "A very big thanks for the support of the fire brigade, police, ambulance and also the people who spent hours chopping the tree up ready to reopen the road about eight hours later.

"This was the sister tree of a tree that came down in a big a storm years ago and people were driving under it to get through."

Heavy rain is forecast for the Aldershot area on Tuesday and Wednesday, threatening a return of flooding seen in recent weeks.

On Saturday a large tree also fell across Bracknell Lane at its junction with Hartford Road in Hartley Wintney, with eyewitness George Davey describing other trees in Bracknell Lane as "not looking too stable" either.

Trees fell on railway lines across the South West Trains network, and Farnborough county councillor John Wall described the travel situation as "chaos" as he waited for a train at Woking station.

Crondall was also hit by the storm, with Crondall Lane in Farnham totally blocked by a huge fallen tree.

Hampshire Constabulary warned motorists to take "extreme care" on the roads and advised Hart and Rushmoor residents to stay indoors on Saturday evening after the freak storm brought down trees across the county.

It comes after the region was battered by winds and rain before and after Christmas.