Two children and their father were hurt when a tree collapsed on this tent. A third child escaped unharmed.
Two children and their father were hurt when a tree collapsed on this tent. A third child escaped unharmed. The Northern Star

Family's survival 'a miracle'

EMMA DROVER thinks it is incredible her family is still alive after a tree crashed on to their tent while they were camping at a property near Kyogle.

The emergency workers who came to the rescue when an old ironbark gumtree crashed on top of a sleeping Ben Drover and his children Ronny, 12, Jackhenry, 10, and Milo, 7, early yesterday say it is a miracle they survived.

The tree, which had been weakened by white ants and fell during bad weather, flattened an esky in the tent. But the tree's trunk missed all the tent's occupants, with branches hurting Jackhenry, Ronny and their 48-year-old dad.

Jackhenry was the most seriously hurt, suffering three broken ribs, and was flown to Lismore Base Hospital by the Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter. He was in a satisfactory condition last night.

Mr Drover suffered a broken nose, bruises and cuts that needed stitching at Kyogle hospital. Ronny suffered a cut to the head. Milo and the family dog, Pepe, escaped unharmed.

Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter crewman Mark Sewell said he was amazed the family had survived.

“That no one was seriously injured was a miracle,” he said.

“It's a bit like car accidents I have attended where everyone should have been killed, but walked away.”

Mrs Drover, who was in Brisbane when the accident happened and rushed to Jackhenry's bedside yesterday, said her husband and children had travelled to Kyogle for the camping trip as a school holiday treat.

Mrs Drover said Milo and Pepe were able to get out of the tent, but the others were pinned down by branches.

The owner of the property heard the family's cries for help and ran to a neighbouring property to call an ambulance.

Emergency workers spent more than an hour working to free them from the tent.

Mrs Drover said she felt sick at how close she had come to losing her family.



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