A ROTTING tree came crashing down on Friday morning almost crushing a car and writing it off.
Residents in Shakespeare Avenue and Walpole Walk, Rayleigh, were jolted awake by a “loud crashing noise” when the tree came down at about 7.45am.
The tree, which was rotting and broken apart on impact, landed on the boot of a parked car, damaging it and smashing the rear window.
“The tree was inches away from landing in the middle of the car and completely crushing it and putting it out of order,” Rayleigh Town councillor Ian Ward, who lives nearby, said.
The Lodge ward councillor says people came running out of their homes to investigate the noise.
“We heard a large thump and heard some commotion outside,” he said.
“Then one of my neighbours rang my doorbell and asked if I knew what to do about the fallen tree.”
The tree, in Walpole Walk, hit a vehicle parked in Shakespeare Avenue, which shares a junction.
Mr Ward says the ordeal was a shock to the neighbourhood, as the extent of the rot damage to the tree had gone unnoticed.
“It wasn’t particularly windy, so it was a surprise when we saw it had fallen over,” he said.
“We knew the tree was in a bad way but nobody realised it was that bad. The roots were clearly very badly rotten and branches had broken in half from the impact.
Mr Ward contacted Rochford District Council’s parks team which swiftly mobilised and removed the tree before the end of the day.
“They responded very quickly and the tree was removed leaving the car looking in a sorry state,” he said.
Rayleigh Town councillor Danielle Belton added: “Within an hour of the it being reported, the council’s woodland team had arrived at the site to deal with it.
“Local residents asked to have some of the damaged tree beaches to cut into logs, which was organised by Rochford Council’s work crews.
“The tree is ECC responsibility, and the owner of the car is being traced.”
ECC has been contacted for comment.