Driver and three passengers have miracle escape when huge tree branch falls on car


A driver and three passengers had a miracle escape after a huge tree branch fell on their car.

CCTV footage shows the grey pickup truck in slow moving traffic when the 100-year-old Yang Na tree collapsed and fell onto the vehicle’s roof in Chiang Mai province, northern Thailand on June 3.

The driver suffered cuts and bruises on his shoulder and the wood damaged most of the car but he did not have any serious injuries.

His three passengers were unscathed and checked by paramedics who helped to clear the road afterwards.

One of the passengers, Wanchaloem Pongsurin, 38, said: ‘There were four of us inside. I sat behind with another colleague. My brother Prawit Pongsurin was the driver.

‘My brother stopped the vehicle under the old tree near the furniture shop to wait for the red light to turn green then the branch of this old tree then fell onto us. We ran out of the vehicle.’

Prawit was taken to the hospital and treated for his wounds while the clearing operation took around 40 minutes before the flow of traffic returned to normal. The wrecked car was towed to a garage as it was blocking one of the lanes.

A rider who had a pregnant pillion passenger who was overtaking the pickup was nearly missed by the branch but both of them were unhurt.

Onlooker Urai Minkul, 55, who owned a nearby shop said the tree had been around for at least 100 years as it became a landmark in the area.

He said: ‘I have been running my business around here for six years. The Yang Na tree is older than my business and had been around for at least 100 years.

‘Not long ago some of its branches fell onto one of the houses. It might have been caused by strong winds or pests that caused deterioration on the branches.’

Local officials promised to have the tree checked to prevent future incidents from happening.