Tree crashes through house, misses teen
It's a miracle Trent Griffiths is alive after a giant gum tree smashed through his bedroom roof early this morning.
The 14-year-old from Manly woke to find more than just his blankets covering him during the near-cyclone force storm which hit the Whangaparaoa Peninsula overnight.
"I woke up surrounded by the roof that fell on me," he said.
"I started feeling rain on my face and thought 'what?'. Mum was yelling and I started freaking out. I couldn't breathe with all the dust around."
Mum Robyn rushed into the bedroom of their Manly home to find her son under the debris.
Trent couldn't move at first but slowly wriggled his way out. The power was out and the family didn't have a torch or any lights. They were rescued by the local fire crew.
Trent was taken to North Shore Hospital for treatment to a head cut caused by a a piece of roof truss, and was later discharged.
The family saw the damage for the first time at about 8.30am.
"I was like, 'wow'. It was pretty close," Trent said.
Robyn said seeing the room made her feel sick.
"He nearly died. It was so close," she said.
Neighbour Celia Cooper said she and her husband were awake listening to the wind.
"I heard the tinkling of glass so I looked out the blinds and didn't see much," she said.
"I was just getting back into bed when there was an almighty crash. It sounded like thunder. I opened the blinds again and saw the tree had come down. I couldn't see the extent of the damage, but we knew it was bad."
Just 200 metres down the road Robyn Whittaker and Mike Schultze also had a close call after a 15m gum tree fell on top of their water tank and house at 1.45am.
The tree smashed through the room where Whittaker and daughter Rose were sleeping. Schultze was away on a business trip.
''We were both fast asleep and there was an enormous noise,'' Whittaker said.
"Rose was in with me because of the storm. She slept through it completely. I had to pull her out of the bed as I didn't know if that was it, if it was over or if it would keep coming."
The tree penetrated the ceiling but the water tank took the full impact.
Another half of the tree landed on Whangaparaoa Primary School's native gardens.
WHAT A MESS: Robyn Whittaker and Mike Schultze, whose house was hit by the 15m gum tree. Photo: CARALISE TRAYES
- Rodney Times
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