Great Britain

Family luckily left holiday caravan just minutes before tree crushed it during Storm Dennis


A FAMILY had a miracle escape at the height of Storm Dennis when a tree crushed their holiday caravan just minutes after they left.

Chris Davis, 41, his partner and their kids aged 15 and two, had gone for a swim at the holiday site in Bideford Bay, north Devon, when 70mph winds brought the tree down.

Horrified Chris ran back to check on it after getting a call from park staff and was stunned to see the damage.

He said: “We are so lucky. If it had happened just a few minutes earlier it would have been a very different story.”

The family, of Teignmouth, Devon, had gone away for a weekend break to celebrate Chris’s birthday.

They booked it a few weeks ago before the forecasts of Storm Dennis.

Chris, who works in e-commerce, said: “The weather wasn’t too bad when we arrived on Friday evening but the wind got up through the night and the caravan was shaking a bit.

“On the Saturday morning we were going swimming. We got ready and headed for the pool but around five minutes after we left the caravan I got a call from the staff to say that what had happened.

“They said not to go back and look because it was so shocking but I needed to see it.

“The tree had come down and split the caravan almost in half. It came right down on to the bedroom where we had been just a few minutes earlier. Our two-year-old had been running in and out of there as well.

“We were in shock, we had a really lucky escape, a few minutes earlier and we would have all been in there. I’m so thankful we weren’t.

“It’s a woodland park with lots of trees but you don’t expect something like this to happen. People who have worked there for nine years say they have never seen anything like it before.

“The winds were up to 70mph and whether this tree was a bit weakened or not I don’t know but the gales have just brought it down.”

The family recovered what items they could from the wrecked caravan and went home a day early.

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