Father, Daughter Lucky To Be Alive After Smouldering Tree Falls Onto Car
A 12-year-old girl has been injured during a freak accident on the NSW North Coast.
Mark William Darwin and his daughter Ava were travelling along The Lakes Way between Darawank and Hallidays Point just after 7.30 Monday morning when their 4WD was struck by a falling tree.
A thick, smouldering branch slammed onto the bonnet, smashing the glass, before crashing through the back of the vehicle.
"I didn't even see the tree fall or the branch and next thing the car bounced and we were off the road," a shaken Darwin told 10 News First.
"[The tree] hit the back of the car... it was lucky the main trunk didn't come through the windscreen.
"A second earlier it could have been a completely different story".
Incredibly, medical professionals arrived within minutes.
"We had a paramedic turn up and our two family doctors actually turned up. We had the dream team," Darwin said.
While the local father walked away unscathed, Ava suffered cuts and grazes to her leg and was assessed at the scene before being taken to hospital for further treatment and observation.
Dave Watt lives down the road and saw the incident play out.
"I heard this bang and I turned around and saw the tree and the car collide -- there were bits flying all over the place.," he said, adding that a truck, heading in the opposite direction was also hit, but the driver was unharmed.
"I came up to make sure they were all okay. We cleared the tree off the road so we could get the traffic through," Watt said.
It was a nervous weekend for many on the north coast as firefighters battled multiple blazes burning across the region.
One that ripped through the Darawank area blackened more than 2600 hectares.
Residents in nearby towns were warned to be aware of burning embers.
By Monday morning, the blaze had been downgraded to an Advice level.
It is one of more than 70 bushfires burning across the state, half of which are not yet contained.
Some 1200 firefighters have been battling the blazes from the Victoria-NSW border right up to the NSW north coast.
It's not yet known how many homes and buildings have been damaged or destroyed.