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Near miss as tree crashes into garden
A HOUSEHOLDER had a lucky escape after part of a tree came crashing down into her garden minutes after she had brought her washing in.
The large branch fell through Joanne Carlton’s garden gate and completely blocked the rear access road to her home in the Denes area of Darlington.
Ms Carlton, 45, complained to Darlington Borough Council last April over the size of the tree, which is more than 100ft tall and looms over the back garden of her Willow Road property.
Council officials deemed it safe at the time but on Sunday afternoon a huge branch split away from the trunk and crashed to the ground.
She said: “If someone had been at the bottom of the garden or in the back alley, they could have been killed.
“I had only brought my washing in 20 minutes earlier.
“We phoned the council as soon as it happened and they came straight away.
“They’ve told us the tree is safe at the moment – but they said that before, so it’s not very reassuring.”
She said there had not been any recent strong winds and believed the branch’s own weight had caused it to break.
Ms Carlton’s partner Michael Howe, 44, had been playing cards at the kitchen table with her 11-year-old daughter, Eve, when they heard an “almighty crack” as the tree split.
“Then there was this loud swooshing noise and at first we didn’t know what was going on – it sounded a bit like thunder,” he said.
“It was unbelievable to see because so much fell down from such a massive height.”
“Thankfully, no one was underneath it, because I don’t think they’d be alive now if there had been.”
The tree stands in the council- maintained Play Dene park, a popular destination for families and dog walkers.
Council workers will visit the site today to clean up the debris.
No one was available at the council to comment.
Part of the branch lies on the garage roof
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