NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland

Storm Gertrude: Couple's car roof sliced off

Wreck of car Image copyright Caroline Munro
Image caption The top of the couple's car was sliced off by the lorry

A couple have spoken about how they thought they were going to die when an HGV sliced the roof off their car during Storm Gertrude.

Caroline Munro, 41, and her husband Martin Bayliss, 43, were driving to work on Friday when they realised the lorry was going to topple onto them.

The couple escaped with just a few broken bones, cuts and bruises following the accident on the A96.

Ms Munro said: "I didn't think it was possible to survive such an impact."

The couple were driving along the A96 at Huntly from their home near Keith at about 07:30 when they realised the lorry, which was travelling in the opposite direction, was about to fall on them.

'He must be dead'

"I saw the lorry coming down the hill and saw the back of it start to move across into our lane," Ms Munro said. "I called to my husband and said 'Martin, lorry'. It happened very quickly.

"As it came towards us it started to fall over and I realised it was going to hit us. I just assumed that we were going to die.

"I thought about how much I loved my husband and how sad it was that life was going to be over.

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Media captionThe lorry was later recovered using a crane

"I was trying to relax and let go. I heard my husband saying 'darling' to me, then there was just this massive impact.

"The bonnet was ripped off the car and part of the lorry sliced over the top of us and kept moving, landing on its side."

Ms Munro said she and her husband must both have ducked down as the top of the car was sliced off.

"When I realised I was still alive and could move my legs I thought 'if I'm alive, he must be dead'. Then we shouted to each other and he managed to get his phone and ring 999."

Ms Munro, who is an inspector with the Care Inspectorate, suffered a broken collarbone and fractured ribs and Mr Bayliss, who teaches religious, moral and philosophical studies at Kemnay Academy, had a deep cut to his head, grazing and a sore neck.

Image copyright Caroline Munro
Image caption Caroline Munro and Martin Bayliss thought they were going to die

They sheltered in a passing van until the ambulance arrived.

"We just feel incredibly lucky to be here," Ms Munro said. "We were amazingly fortunate. But I am very very anxious about driving again. What happened to us happened in an instant and there was nothing anyone could do about it."

The couple have two sons, Dan, 20 and Ed, 18, who were both away at university at the time but have since returned home.

Mr Bayliss said: "I can't believe that we're not dead. When that lorry hurtled towards us the first thing I thought was 'I'm going to be decapitated' then I thought 'I'm going to be crushed to death'.

"I just thought of Caroline and called out 'darling, darling'.

"Then there was a big crunch and blackness as the lorry loomed over, crunching and grinding.

"When I realised we were still alive, from that point onwards it was a bit like waking up from a bad dream."

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