Cars crushed by falling trees
SHE THOUGHT it might have been a clap of thunder but when Erin McCrea looked to the skies she found a big old gum tree bearing down on her.
The 31-year-old Hervey Bay High School teacher had left a conference room at the Kondari Resort Hotel in Hervey Bay to fetch a jumper from the back of her car when she got the fright of her life yesterday.
“It was a pretty close call. I looked up and suddenly the tree was falling towards me,” she said.
“It happened in slow motion. I thought it was going to hit my car and I just ran.
“I didn't think I could move so fast. And all I could think was I hadn't even written a will yet.”
Eight SES crew members from Hervey Bay and Maryborough worked for more than five hours to clear the fallen tree from the cars it thundered into in the Elizabeth Street car park.
While Ms McCrea's silver Lancer escaped by three metres, the news was not so good for two of her work colleagues.
A blue Ford Falcon and a silver Mitsubishi Lancer were crushed by the fierce collapse about 10.35am.
Ms McCrea photographed the damage and returned to a teachers' professional development course inside the Kondari where she broke the bad news with her camera.
“I had heard there were supposed to be cyclonic winds but it didn't seem to me like the wind caused it.”
Across the road in the nearby Seachange complex Nev Whiteoak was sitting on his back deck when he heard the same loud crack.
He watched as the tree collapsed on the cars.
“Just last night I said to my wife that one of the tree's larger branches looked dangerously close to breaking off,” he said.
“I thought the branch might come down; not the whole tree.
“It just went straight down. Crunch. Crash.”
Describing it as huge, he estimated the tree's height to be closer to 30 feet than 20 feet.
The Chronicle contacted the Kondari Resort but no comment was available when going to print.