A TAXI driver was just inches from death when a 40ft tree crushed his cab.

Dad-of-two Darren Fisher, 33, could not believe it when he walked away unharmed after the giant oak smashed onto his car, just missing his head.

The force of the tree – thought to weigh about eight tonnes – made the Citroen Xsara Picasso’s roof cave in.

The entire roof of the car and the driver’s side was crushed and the windscreen and the driver’s window shattered.

PC Pete Cruden from Portswood Police Station, the first police officer on the scene yesterday at 12.59pm, said Darren from Bitterne was “the luckiest man alive.”

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He said: “When I saw what we were faced with I was expecting it to be decapitation.

“He is the luckiest man alive. If he was driving just a couple miles an hour slower it could have gone through his windscreen and he would be dead.”

Darren managed to crawl out through the passenger door after the tree rolled off the back of the car and walked away uninjured in what he calls “a miracle escape”.

He said: “I heard a tree creaking and saw it moving more than it should out of the corner of my eye but I had to carry on.

“Then all of a sudden it crashed onto the roof, bounced off and landed behind me.

“It was a full-size oak tree – absolutely massive. I could hear a gigantic thud and the sound of all the glass shattering. The ceiling forced my head to the left but I managed to crawl out through the passenger side.

“It is a bit of a blur because it happened so quickly.

“It wasn’t until I got out that I looked back and thought I should not be here. It was a miracle escape.”

Darren was hit by the falling tree as he was driving at about 30mph past the bus stop on Burgess Road towards The Avenue in Southampton on his way to pick up a customer from the Hilton Hotel in Chilworth.

It is not known what caused the oak to fall.

Police had to close the busy city route for two hours while tree surgeons cut up the tree.

Paramedics checked Darren before he was picked up by his boss of Streamline taxis and taken home to his family.

A spokesman for the firm said: “He is a treasure to the company.

He is popular and an extremely hard worker. It brings a tear to your eye to think he was inches away from death. We are over the moon he is OK.”