A dog walker miraculously survived after being crushed by a huge tree – and was freed by his elderly terrier.
Malcolm Myers, 63, was walking Yorkshire terrier Buddy, aged 10, on Wednesday when a horsechestnut tree came crashing down from a garden.
Mr Myers, a semi-retired businessman, was hit in the back and the neck by branches, and was buried by foliage after hearing a sound like thunder at 1.45pm as he passed the Sowerby Institute near his home in Thirsk, North Yorks.
The ex-bodybuilder managed to free himself with help from Buddy – and is now planning to take legal action against the person or authority responsible for the tree, which was in a garden.
He said it could have killed someone less physically fit, and is thankful to have escaped with bruising.
Malcolm Myers, 63, was walking Yorkshire terrier Buddy, aged 10, on Wednesday when the accident occurred
Mr Myers said: ‘I’m very lucky to be alive.The doctors don’t know how I survived. It has been horrific.
‘I didn’t know what had happened, I heard this sound like thunder cracking.
‘I was just having a nice leisurely walk with Buddy, he’s by my side all the time.
‘I’m an ex-bodybuilder and quite a big guy.
‘If it had been anyone else they wouldn’t have survived.
‘I’m very sore and tired, there will be a solicitor instructed next week.’
Buddy saved the day by rushing to help his master.
Mr Myers said: ‘I was walking my Yorkshire terrier and he saved my life, he came to my rescue.
Michael’s partner Curly Uppington pictured with a log that hit him in the back, leaving him with bruising and shock
‘He came running up and started digging me out.
‘I’m having flashbacks of his head under a branch as he was digging, he was really working hard to get to me.
‘It’s a massive tree. The main bit smashed into my back, sending me to the ground.
‘Another branch smacked me in the back of the neck.
‘Adrenaline was kicking in, while the dog was frantically digging to get to me.
‘He made an area where I could see daylight. I was in darkness.
‘I managed to catch hold of his paw, he is a very strong little fella. He managed to help me get through.
‘I didn’t lose consciousness but it was just darkness.’
After the ordeal Mr Myers went straight home and had a cup of tea.
He then went back to the scene.
The next day he went to the GP, who feared he had spinal damage, but X-rays showed he had escaped with bruising.
Mr Myers said: ‘The doctors were amazed I was alive.
‘I have got bruising and soreness, the trauma of it is coming out now.
‘They said it will get worse before it gets better.
‘I’m going back to the next week and have developed a limp.
‘The branch hit me on the back of my neck, and a log hit me in the back.
‘Hopefully I have been through the worst of it.’
North Yorkshire Council’s interim head of highway operations, Jayne Charlton said: ‘We can confirm we are investigating after branches fell from a horse chestnut tree in a private garden and landed on the neighbouring public footpath.
‘A member of the public alerted us to the incident, which we responded to immediately, closing the footpath while the debris was cleared.
‘We received a further report that a man walking his dog was hit on the back by a large branch, while a smaller one struck him on the head.
‘We have made contact with the landowner to inform them of their responsibilities with regard to the tree, which is subject to a Tree Preservation Order.’
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