Close shave for Edinburgh mum and son as huge tree lands feet away from car

Suzy Hall and her son Ruaraidh had a close call driving home on Sunday night.
Suzy Hall and her son Ruaraidh had a close call driving home on Sunday night.
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A mother and son are counting their blessings after the car they were travelling in narrowly missed being flattened by a falling tree.

Shaken mum Suzy Hall and 15-year-old Ruaraidh were lucky to survive unscathed after the huge tree came crashing down right in front of them on Sunday.

They had been on a late night shopping trip at Asda Chesser and were returning home in torrential rain.

With Edinburgh having been battered by storms for several days already, driving conditions that evening were extremely poor.

The journey home had been a challenge but, at around five past midnight, as the pair turned on to Greenbank Drive, a tree on their near side suddenly crashed down without warning.

Recalling the panic, Suzy, 48, said: “When it happened, I instinctively screeched to a stop.

“Visibility wasn’t great, it was really dark with heavy rain.”

Only Suzy’s low speed and lightning-quick reactions prevented a tragedy.

The mum-of-two added: “Had we been going any faster, we’d have definitely been squashed under this tree.

“It was lucky I was doing a right-hand turn out of the Steils [the housing estate at the former City Hospital].

“There was a huge puddle, so I was going quite slowly – about 5mph – so I was able to do an emergency stop.”

Pictures taken by Suzy show the tree’s massive trunk and branches blocking the entire road within touching distance of the bus stop on the opposite side of the street.

Thankfully, at that late hour and with the rain relentlessly lashing down, the surrounding roads and pavements were deserted.

Suzy was also relieved Ruaraidh was not hurt.

“It was really scary having my son there. He’s only 15 so he got a huge fright as well,” she added.

“Because he was on the passenger side, the trunk – it was huge – would’ve gone right down on his side more than mine.

“You can actually see how lucky we were. I probably stopped just ten feet away or a wee bit less. We definitely had someone watching over us.”

After the ordeal, Suzy parked her car nearby and returned to take some photographs of the damage.

She then phoned the emergency services but didn’t know which service she required.

“I just dialled 999 and wasn’t sure which service I wanted,” the stay-at-home mum continued.

“I was in so much shock. The road was completely blocked off.

“Eventually I phoned the council and also reported the incident to the fire service. I was told a tree surgeon would be out soon.”

A team of tree surgeons from the City of Edinburgh Council were dispatched to cut up the huge trunk and clear the debris from the road.

A council spokesperson said: “The tree was on privately managed land.

“Our tree surgeons removed it from the roadway early on Monday morning.”