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Lucky escape for motorist after Glenwood’s mighty Jacaranda falls

A large old Jacaranda tree came crashing down on electricity cables and a plumber's van which was parked on Ferguson Road this morning.

A Glenwood woman escaped with her life just two minutes before a giant Jacaranda tree came crashing down on the spot where she was parked.

Andre Potgieter, a resident of Ferguson Road, Glenwood was not surprised by the sudden crash of the mighty tree. “Its not the first time that this has happened. When I heard the cracking sound I knew because I was home studying for my matric exam when another tree a stone's throw away came crashing down on my neighbour's car. Thank goodness the woman next door just moved her car from the exact spot!”

Plumber Walter Khoza, was shocked and shaken by the incident as he was busy working on renovating Potgieter's kitchen when the tree fell and came to rest on his company van. “We were in the kitchen and heard something crack then crash. It came down on my van. I need to fetch more material for this job but I'm caught up and stuck because the tree is resting on my van and it's squashing my van. I am lucky that I'm okay and wasn't in the van,” he added.

The large old Jacaranda tree came down on electricity cables, broke a street light, crashed into palisade fencing of a flat and came to a rest on the plumber's van.

Concerned resident, Helen Thompson said there wasn’t “a breath of wind this morning when the tree fell down!” “This was definitely caused by the ants eating the tree from the inside out! My concerns as a resident along a tree lined road is what if the tree was to fall on someone who is innocently walking along our road or even driving along our road. How do we explain to that person's family? What if the next tree falls through someone’s house?” she said.

Thompson said with the extremely high crime rate prevalent in the road, such an incident could be exacerbated by the vagrants and criminals who would have free access to that person's property.

“We have tried on numerous occasions to get someone from the municipality to come and inspect the trees before something dreadful happens, but we are still waiting! We are trying as residents to be pro-active rather than reactive but unfortunately the response is that we live in an old suburb and trees fall down,” she said despondently.

Another resident, Taryn Miles told Berea Mail the last tree which fell on Ferguson Road, crashed into her sister's car which was totally wrecked. “My husband's car was nearly hit by a tree which came down in front of him. It really is dangerous. Something must be done before someone is killed,” she said.

Councillor Nicole Graham said the incident was something she had been working on avoiding. “I submitted a question to council in time for last month's meeting, but it did not appear on the agenda. It has been re-submitted. It is an attempt to ascertain formally what the Parks and Recreation Department plan to do about this problem as their responses to date have really been inadequate. I was on site in Ferguson this morning and the damage to property as well as to the electricity infrastructure is a serious problem. I will report back in due course on the answers obtained in council,” said Graham.

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