'I thought it was the end': Leeds man narrowly escapes death after 20ft tree smashes into his car

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A Leeds man has said he feels lucky to be alive after a tree smashed through the bonnet of his car as he was driving to his new home.

***WARNING: Video contains bad language***

James Allison's car shortly after a tree smashed through the bonnet.

James Allison's car shortly after a tree smashed through the bonnet.

James Allison was driving along Harrogate Road in Chapel Allerton at 8pm on Saturday when the top half of one of the trees near to Seven Arts smashed through the bonnet 'in an instant'.

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"The tree came straight down," said James, who did not even have time to brake. "It just flashed in front of me. I thought I would be dead in seconds.

"The airbags went off and I heard the sound of smashing glass around me.

The top half of the tree in Harrogate Road, Chapel Allerton, snapped off.

The top half of the tree in Harrogate Road, Chapel Allerton, snapped off.

"I checked myself for cuts and bruises but then sort of froze. Then I snapped out of it and ran out the car screaming and laid on the side of the road by some steps."

James, 33, said he was driving '25mph-30mph tops' and thinks his Seat Leon Coupe, with its automatic breaking system, saved his life.

"If it wasn't for that the car could've kept going and the tree could have gone rolled through the windscreen. If it was seconds later it would have gone through the roof. It could've been fatal."

James, who works in business development in the advertising sector, was moving from Pasture Parade to the Methley's in Chapel Allerton with his girlfriend.

The police and paramedics were on the scene quickly and James does not seem to have suffered any major injury.

The police and paramedics were on the scene quickly and James does not seem to have suffered any major injury.

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He was alone in the car at the time having just been to Aldi to get some shopping.

"It was the final trip of the day," he said. "I feel lucky that I came out alive. There was four of five tonnes of tree there.

"People were coming up to me saying they couldn't believe how lucky I was, asking for my lottery number.

"I think I had a bit of an out of body experience. I don't really want to sleep and still feel shaken up."

James, who was checked over by paramedics at the scene, seems to be free of major injuries but is suffering with various pains, so will be heading to a minor injuries unit.

Leeds City Council cut down the tree on Saturday evening.

Initial investigations by the council suggest the tree, which was behind a boundary wall, may have weak due to rot, James said.

He added that it was not windy at the time.