Woman dies after being crushed by storm-blown oak tree

A delicate race against the clock, not lost for Richard Millett and his wife Trixie.

They had parked their RV a few yards from the tree just after it fell and unknowingly went for coffee to get back to the unfolding emergency.

“They were digging, which was a futile task unless someone got trapped,” Richard said.

Despite a 45-minute rescue effort, the woman died this afternoon at Waikato Hospital.

Around the corner, builder Connor Cooke and a colleague were completing renovations to this home when they were lucky enough to escape.

Their two work vehicles are however written off.

“Crazy wind outside and I heard a big bang and that’s the result,” Cooke said.

Owner Mike Beuvink is frustrated as trees in Cambridge have been weakened in recent storms and he fears Waipa District Council has not taken him seriously.

“You can see a rope up there in one of those branches and there’s another rope there, it was held together by a piece of rope,” Beuvink said.

But the Council says it’s not just ordinary rope, it’s bracing used by arborists around the world to secure a tree and allow it to grow.

Obviously, even that wasn’t strong enough for a big blow that in this town has now taken the life of one person.