5th Dec, 2016

Solihull councillor cheats death in free tree accident

Aisling Kiely 24th Jul, 2016 Updated: 21st Oct, 2016

A SOLIHULL councillor narrowly escaped death by a ‘mere four foot’ when an oak tree branch broke off and crashed into his car earlier this week.

Councillor Robert Grinsell, who left his office only minutes earlier, was driving along Silhill Hall Road when the tree branch severed and crushed his Jaguar car on Tuesday (July 12).

He slammed on his brakes but collided with the tree – despite his quick-thinking reactions.

Unable to escape out of the drivers door, the councillor scrambled over to the passenger seat with help from a local resident.

Speaking to The Observer, Coun Grinsell said: “I was a mere four foot away from not being able to tell the story.

“I would like to show appreciation for the emergency services, in particular West Midlands Fire Service, who responded promptly.


Coun Bob Grinsell

Eight firefighters from West Midlands Fire Service and a tree surgeon attended the incident around 2pm to access the situation.

He added: “Since the incident, I have spent time trying to get my life back to some sort of normality.

“Apart from a few aches and pains, I’m grateful of a happy ending.

The oak tree – which was part of private property – destroyed the car and has been deemed no longer fit to drive.

“I am now encouraging Solihull residents to call tree surgeons or arborists to check the state of the tress on their property on a regular basis.