‘Miracle man’ cheats death as falling tree misses him by inches in Hartlepool street

Michael Weldrake and his mum Linda Thomas standing next to the fallen tree.
Michael Weldrake and his mum Linda Thomas standing next to the fallen tree.

A man who recently underwent brain surgery says someone was watching over him when a tree toppled over – missing him by just inches.

Michael Weldrake, who had an operation on a brain tumour just two months ago, says he could have been killed.

The fallen tree close to Michael Weldrake's home.

The fallen tree close to Michael Weldrake's home.

He was walking to his home in Herbert Walk, Dyke House, Hartlepool, on yesterday afternoon, when the 25ft-tall tree came down.

Michael, 46, said: “I was coming back from my friend’s and went past it and heard it snap.

“The next thing I knew the tree was on the ground. A couple of seconds earlier, I would have been dead.

“It was lucky, someone was looking down on me. I’m still shaking.”
Michael’s mother Linda Thomas, 65, saw the incident happen as she was standing outside their home.

The mum-of-six said: “I shouted ‘Michael it’s going to come down.’ It just missed him.

“I thought of his head straight away, because his scar is still there.

“It was like it happened in slow motion, it was so unreal. I thought it was going to go on him.

“I’m just glad he is all lright.”

Linda said the tree, which was planted on the estate about 12 years ago, had been leaning more and more over the last year.

Neighbour Eileen McNamara, 62, who lives in nearby Breward Walk, said she has warned children in recent weeks not to play on it.

She said: “If Michael had gone under it, we wouldn’t have been able to pull him out. I think we are going to call him Miracle Man from now on.

“I have told children not to play by it.”

Linda, who is also a grandmother and great-grandmother, added: “Loads of kids play out when it is sunny.

“We all knew it was going to come down, you could tell.”