A DRIVER has told how he dived for safety when a 40ft tree crashed on top of him, crushing his car.

Merl Anteney-Wright says he is lucky to be alive after the tree fell while he was getting into his vehicle parked in a Southampton street.

He needed hospital treatment for neck and arm injuries sustained in the impact, while the car was written off following the drama in Grosvenor Road in Portswood.

Now he is demanding the council takes action to protect neighbouring trees warning another accident could happen again on what is a busy school run route.

The 25-year-old was returning to his parked Vauxhall Corsa after being dropped off in the road by a friend.

The engineering project manager, who lives in Mount Pleasant Road, said: “I went to open the door and when I looked up I saw the tree falling.

“Everything was in slow motion.

“It was like I had a sixth sense and I instinctively jumped to the left but I felt a crashing on my head and neck and thought 'oh my God'.”

Daily Echo:

The trunk fell over the pavement and onto the passenger side and also dragging down another smaller tree with it which fell on a Mazda 6 TS parked behind.

He said: “If I had arrived a minute earlier and got in the car I would have died. I was in there I would have died.

“It's lucky there was no one in the passenger side or a child or elderly person walking past.”

He claims the tree roots are rotten and says the council should look at neighbouring trees to ensure they are safe.

“It's neglect by the council.

“You pay all this council tax and then something like this happens.

He was taken to A and E at Southampton General Hospital for his injuries and is unable to properly move his neck or right arm.

It may prevent him from attending a job interview after returning to the country two weeks ago after six months in India.