South Shields dad narrowly escapes with his life after bricks crash onto his £25K Range Rover during Storm Malik

A dad believes he escaped with his life after Storm Malik’s devastating winds caused part of a house to come crashing down on top of his Range Rover.

Sunday, 30th January 2022, 1:35 pm
Updated Monday, 31st January 2022, 9:56 pm

Russel Choudary, 40, from South Shields, had just moved his £25,000 vehicle to the opposite side of his street to protect it from slates which were flying from a nearby house.

But as soon as he had done so, gale force winds caused dozens of bricks to fall onto his 4x4 – completely destroying it.

The dad-of-two, who owns a restaurant and lives in the Roman Road area of town, says he “feels very lucky to be alive” following Saturday’s incident.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

Russel says he feels 'very lucky' to be alive.

He said: "I am devastated, but if I had moved it just a minute earlier, I would have been killed. There's no way I would have survived. I feel very lucky to be alive.

"I had just moved the car across the road because slates were coming off my neighbour's roof.

"No sooner did I reach my front door, the bricks came crashing down. I could have been inside that car. It doesn't bear thinking about."

Russel is now waiting to see if he will be able to claim for the damage on his insurance.

Storm Malik caused damage across the region.

He had only had the Range Rover Evoke for two years.

He added: "I really hope it gets sorted soon because my vehicle is essential for work.

"I need it to transport food, and also for my staff. But really, things could have been so much worse."

The clean-up operation throughout South Tyneside after Saturday’s storm is expected to continue into Monday.

Russel Choudary's car was completely destroyed during Storm Malik.

Among the areas hit were South Shields, Hebburn, Jarrow and East Boldon.

A statement added: “They have made 20 locations safe and continue to work through incidents on a priority basis.”

Among South Shields roads to be temporarily closed were Fowler Street, King George Road and Long Row.

A spokesperson for the council said: “Teams have once again sprung into action in response to severe weather and are continuing to do all they can to keep people and property safe.

“Incidents are being dealt with on a priority basis and the clean-up will continue into next week.

“With more high winds forecast overnight tonight, we urge everyone to take care. We’d advise people only to make essential journeys, avoid walking near trees and not to travel to coastal areas to observe high tides.

Storm Malik, which was set to be quickly followed by Storm Corrie, also triggered Saturday’s postponement of South Shields Football Club’s table-topping Northern Premier League home match with Matlock Town.

A club statement read: “Strong winds left significant damage at 1st Cloud Arena and, after a referee inspected the ground and the potential for further damage, the decision was made to call the game off.

“A rearranged date will be confirmed in due course.”

The town’s Mortimer Community College will also be closed on Monday, January 31, to allow contractors to undertake a site inspection.

To report storm incidents to the council, residents can call (0191) 4556111 or use www.southtyneside.gov.uk/reportit

For the latest information including road closures and service disruption visit www.southtyneside.gov.uk/stormmalik

Support your Gazette and become a subscriber today.

Enjoy unlimited access to all of our news and sport, see fewer ads, experience faster load times, test your brain with daily puzzles and get access to exclusive newsletters.

Your support for our journalism means we can continue telling South Tyneside’s stories for generations to come. Click here to subscribe - and click here to get a snapshot of the Gazette’s news and sport to your inbox through our email newsletters.