Driver lucky to escape surprise car crush

00:36, Nov 24 2012
SMASHED: The large branch from a elm tree that fell onto a car in Trafalgar Square, belonging to Tracy Bowater.

Tracy Bowater is not a church-goer, but after parking her car near Nelson's Christ Church Cathedral yesterday to go to work, and returning to find it wrecked under a tree, she is having second thoughts.

Ms Bowater said although she was relieved no-one was hurt, she was feeling a little singled out.

The cars parked immediately in front of and behind hers in Trafalgar Square, just around the corner from Nile St east, were untouched.

"I don't know if it's considered an act of God," she said, but her $15,000 Toyota was "pretty buggered".

The branch that fell from the elm tree smashed the rear windscreen, cracked the front windscreen and badly dented the car's bonnet and roof.

She was minutes from returning to the car after work when she got a call from a roading contractor who told her that part of a large tree had fallen on it.


The name of her business and her cellphone number written on the side of the car had made it easy to track her down.

Ms Bowater is also lucky to have a supportive family which carries the weight of the Toyota brand in Nelson, and she was able to call her cousin at Bowater Toyota for help when she was unable to reach her boyfriend by phone.

The police arrived, the street was cordoned off and tree-cutting equipment was called in to free her car which is now in the workshop, waiting to be assessed, she said.

City council executive manager of network services Alec Louverdis said the council had no liability in this circumstance.

"An assessment of the tree showed that it was in good health and the branch that fell was an unexpected but natural act that can happen from time to time.

"It will be for the car owner and their insurance company to resolve."

Ms Bowater said she hoped her car could be fixed.

The Nelson Mail