A retired Hamilton man says he's extremely lucky to be alive after a tree tumbled on to his car, missing him by mere seconds.
Arthur Soper was driving to his Raglan property on Sunday morning to do some gardening when a tree suddenly crashed down on the front of his car while he was on Raglan's Main Rd near Greenslade Rd.
He slammed on the brakes and the tree smashed into the front of his car, landing across the passenger seat, window and car bonnet and narrowly missing him.
The tree came down as high winds caused by Cyclone Dovi reached up to 150km/h, battering the North Island at the weekend, toppling trees and damaging powerlines.
Soper's windscreen shattered and pieces of broken glass flew at him when the tree struck his car.
"It happened so quickly. I saw the tree, I swore and then there was a bang. And it happened like one, two, three," Soper to the Herald.
"It was falling through the air - I saw it, I swore and I must have put the brakes but it was so close."
Soper thinks he must have blacked out for a short time, but recalls trying to escape the car in case it caught fire.
Stuck between his seat and the steering wheel and unable to get out via the driver's door, Soper reclined the driver's seat and crawled out over the back of his seat and through the back right-hand door.
Members of the public who stopped to help him held the door open for him and helped him out.
Another resident rushed over to him with a blanket while he waited a few minutes for St John ambulance crew to arrive.
"It was a very close call. Half a second either way and it would have been all over rover," he said.
"I was extremely lucky - if my wife had been with me she would be dead."
St John transported him to Waikato Hospital where he was discharged after 10 hours.
He broke his nose and fingers, suffered multiple cuts and his body aches all over.
"I've got big gashes in my left hand and legs and I've got lots of skin missing. They picked glass out of me for ages, but I think the air bags saved me from a lot of damage.
"I'm just extremely glad to be alive and lucky."
Police, at the time, said the incident was reported around 11.30am along Main Rd.
"It is understood the vehicle was mobile at the time," a police spokesperson said.
St John Ambulance confirmed it dispatched one crew to the scene of the Raglan incident and treated one patient in a moderate condition before he was taken to hospital.
Soper wanted to thank members of the public and St John who rushed to help him and said he was just thankful to be alive and have more time with his family.