10 hours of howling winds, lashing rain and fallen trees

IT may have been the first one of the season but Storm Ali left locals in no doubt of his presence as the Borough was left shell-shocked in his wake last week.

Thousands of homes were left without power and roads were impassable as trees and large branches crashed down.

Indeed, one motorist was inches from death after a huge bough crashed in through the windscreen of his car.

The Ballyclare man has just dropped his niece off at nursery before going for a haircut.

On his way home, he travelled down the Ballyclare to Doagh Road when the unthinkable happened.

He slammed his handbrake on as he saw the huge tree crashing down towards him.

A family friend said; “He only had seconds but he just managed to get curled into a ball on the passenger seat.

“People stopped and ran over to the car when it happened and they clearly thought the worst when they saw how it had smashed through his windscreen.

“I don’t think they could believe it when he emerged from the wreckage.

“He had to crawl out through the back to get out of the car.

“He was just so relieved that the child wasn’t in the car when it happened.”

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