Two families in ‘miracle’ escape after automatic brakes on their Tesla Model X cars stopped them being crushed to death by a falling tree during Storm Dennis
- Laurence Sanderson was driving in Dorset when an oak tree was blown over
- It landed on the bonnet of his £86,000 Tesla Model X during Storm Dennis
- The tree avoided hitting the roof when the car brought itself to a sudden halt
- Another Tesla also stopped just in the nick of time due to automatic brakes
Two families had a miracle escape when the automatic brakes on their Tesla cars stopped them being crushed to death by a falling tree in Storm Dennis
Financial consultant Laurence Sanderson was driving through Dorset in his £86,000 Model X electric saloon when the enormous oak was blown to the ground on February 15, near the village of Sturminster Marshall.
The 400-year-old tree landed on his bonnet, avoiding the roof when the car ground itself to a sudden halt.
Mr Sanderson, from Brentwood in Essex, said that had it not been for the automatic brakes, he and his family would have been ‘toast’.
Remarkably, the car travelling in the opposite direction was another Tesla, with the cutting-edge technology also working in the nick of time.
Financial consultant Laurence Sanderson was driving through Dorset in his Model X electric saloon when the enormous oak was blown to the ground by Storm Dennis
The 400-year-old tree landed on the bonnet of the £86,000 motor but avoided the roof when the car ground itself to a sudden halt
Travelling with Mr Sanderson in the passenger seat was his wife Anna, with his children children Max, 12, Isabella, nine, and Rex, three, in the back.
The family were in Dorset on holiday with the children currently on half-term.
The other Tesla was carrying a family of four – all of whom were also uninjured. Both cars have since been confirmed as write offs.
In the aftermath of the shocking incident both families were taken in by a couple in a nearby house who gave them food and water.
Mr Sanderson, from Brentwood in Essex, said that had it not been for the cutting edge technology he and his family would have been ‘toast’
The crash took place on February 15 near to the village of Sturminster Marshall
The A31 was blocked in both directions as a result of the tree fall.
Mr Sanderson said: ‘My wife’s a bit battered and bruised but apart from that we’re completely unscathed – it’s a miracle.
‘We were driving along the A31 and I saw the tree coming down in the blink of an eye. The car slammed the brakes on and the trunk landed on our bonnet.
‘Literally another second and we would’ve been toast. It was huge – the biggest tree I’ve ever seen.
Mr Sanderson, pictured, said: ‘Both cars are totally written off but the main thing is we’re all safe. Elon Musk has done us proud’
‘The other car had four people in it and they were all okay. The odds of both cars being Teslas is extraordinary.’
He added: ‘I’d like to thank the lovely couple who took us all into their house, fed and watered us and played cards with the kids.
‘They showed unbelievable kindness as did Gary, the landowner of the site where the tree stood – who was absolutely mortified – and has lent us his car.
‘Both cars are totally written off but the main thing is we’re all safe. Elon Musk has done us proud.’
The scene was attended Dorset Police, Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service, South Western Ambulance Service and Highways England.