A motorist escaped almost certain death when a freak lightning bolt sent a tree branch smashing through the rear of his car.

CCTV footage captured the incident, which shows Bernard Williams, a teacher from Pudsey, west Yorkshire, removing his luggage from his car boot during a storm. Just three seconds later, a huge lightning strike hits the same spot.

Bernard's wife Alison saw the whole incident. Speaking to the Daily Express, she said: "There was a terrific explosion and pieces of the tree flew across the road.

"Bernard was very lucky because a large lump of wood smashed into the car and narrowly missed him."

Speaking in the Daily Mail, shocked Bernard said:

"For some reason I thought it was a sonic boom that had shattered the back window of the car.

If I had been standing by the car... I hate to think what would have happened."

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