Motorist narrowly escapes death after tree struck by lightning falls on his car

A motorist had a death-defying escape when his car was crush by a huge tree that had been struck by lightning.

Schoolteacher Henri Cheramie narrowly avoided being crushed to death when a giant branch landed on the front of his Honda car in Montgomery, Alabama in the US, during a thunderstorm on May 4.

Seconds before the branch fell, the 37-year-old stood up and looked through his sunroof, which he claimed saved his life.

"I see lightning just arc across the sky and hit a tree," he told the Montgomery Advertiser.

"I lean a bit and go 'did lightning just strike that' and the next thing I know, half of my body is out of the sunroof and the top of the car is being weighed down by a giant branch that is bisected just where my face is.

"I felt like Buster Keaton."

But the drama wasn't over. While trapped in his car, lightning struck again.

"Behind me, a power line decides to explode," Cheramie said.

"When that happened, electricity just sparked and everything lit up and I heard the power line pop and that's when I started yelling for help. I didn't want to die."

Firefighters had to release the terrified motorist by cutting him out of his car.

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"If my giant C-section baby head hadn't gone through that sunroof, I don't know where I'd be," Henri added.

He was treated at the scene for minor cuts and bruises.

Despite the harrowing ordeal, Henri, who is also a stand-up comedian, was somehow able to see the funny side.

"My first thought was 'is this a Monday or a Tuesday because this is the Monday-est Tuesday ever'," he said.

Henri is no stranger to danger when it comes to treacherous weather.

In 2005, he narrowly escaped getting caught up in Hurricane Katrina, which killed more than 1,800 people, after fleeing New Orleans hours before it hit.

And six years later, he moved away from Tuscaloosa, Alabama, just three days before a deadly tornado, which killed 64, injured more than 1,500 and caused about $2.4billion (£16.9bn) of property damage – making it the costliest in US history at the time.

Following his miraculous brush with death, Henri has set up a GoFundMe page to help pay for the damage to his car and school equipment.

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