A dog walker miraculously survived after being crushed by a huge tree – and was freed by his older terrier.
Malcolm Myers, 63, was walking with Yorkshire Terrier Buddy, age 10, on Wednesday when a horse chestnut fell from a garden.
Mr Myers, a semi-retired businessman, was hit in the back and neck by branches and buried by foliage after hearing a noise like thunder at 1.45pm as he passed Sowerby Institute near his home in Thirsk, North Yorks.
The ex-bodybuilder managed to free himself with help from Buddy – and now plans 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 he escaped with bruises.
Malcolm Myers, 63, was walking 10-year-old Yorkshire Terrier Buddy on Wednesday when the accident happened
Mr. Myers said, “I’m very lucky to be alive. The doctors don’t know how I survived. It’s been horrible.
“I didn’t know what had happened, I heard this sound like a clap of thunder.
“I was just having a nice 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 am very sore and tired, a lawyer will be 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 bruises and shock
“He came running and started digging me out.
“I have flashbacks of his head under a branch while he was digging, he worked really hard to get to me.
“It’s a huge tree. Most of it hit my back, knocking me to the ground.
“Another branch slapped me in the neck.
The adrenaline rushed in as the dog was digging frantically to get to me.
“He made an area where I could see daylight. I was in the dark.
‘I managed to grab his leg, he’s a very strong little fellow. He managed to get me through it.
“I didn’t lose consciousness, but it was just darkness.”
After the ordeal, Mr. Myers went straight home and had a cup of tea.
Then he went back to the crime scene.
The next day he went to the doctor, who feared he had spinal cord damage, but X-rays showed he had bruised.
Mr Myers said: ‘The doctors were amazed that I was alive.
“I have bruises and pain, the trauma of it is coming out now.
“They said it will get worse before it gets better.
“I go back to next week and started limping.
“The branch hit me in the neck and a tree trunk hit me in the back.
“Hopefully I’ve seen the worst.”
Jayne Charlton, North Yorkshire Council’s interim head of motorway operations, said: ‘We can confirm that we are investigating after branches from a horse chestnut tree fell into a private garden and spilled onto the adjacent public footpath.
“A member of the public alerted us to the incident, to which we responded immediately by closing the footpath while the debris was cleared.
“We received another report that a man walking his dog was hit on the back by a large branch, while a smaller one hit him on the head.
“We have contacted the landowner to remind them of their responsibilities with regard to the tree, which falls under the Tree Management Decree.”