The woman whose car was crushed by a falling tree in Altrincham on Saturday has been revealed to be the headteacher of an Altrincham school.
We reported on Saturday how a dramatic rescue had taken place when high winds resulting from Storm Malik caused a large tree to fall directly on to a black Peugeot travelling along Dunham Road.
Pictures from the scene showed the extent of the damage to the car, with firefighters needing specialist equipment to free the trapped driver.
It’s now been revealed that the woman involved was Helen Gee, headteacher of Bowdon Preparatory School for Girls, who suffered “severe, but thankfully not life-changing” injuries in the freak incident.
A statement from Jennie Duschenes, Chair of Governors at the Ashley Road school, said that staff and parents had now been informed and that Sara Makepeace-Taylor, currently Head of Lower School, had been appointed Acting Head until Mrs Gee is fit to return.
It’s expected Mrs Gee will be away from the school for at least six weeks while she recovers.
The statement read: “Helen Gee, headteacher of Bowdon Preparatory School for Girls, was involved in a serious car accident on Saturday afternoon; her car was crushed by a falling tree on Dunham Road.
“With help from the emergency services, she was freed from the car and taken to hospital, where she is being treated for severe, but thankfully not life-changing, injuries. Staff and parents have been informed.
“At this stage, we do not know how long it will be before she is able to return to school, but it will be at least 6 weeks. The Board of Governors have therefore asked Mrs Makepeace-Taylor to become Acting Head until more details are known; she will be supported by the school’s senior leadership team.”
Mrs Gee was appointed headteacher in 2013 following the retirement of the school’s founder, Jane Tan.
Currently the school has 280 pupils having moved to its current site on Ashley Road – the former home of Culcheth Hall School – in 2011.
The statement from the school added: “We all wish Mrs Gee a speedy recovery and look forward to welcoming her back to school in due course. We have no further information to share at this time.”
Saturday’s incident closed Dunham Road – one of the busiest roads in the Altrincham area – for more than two and a half hours in both directions.
Emergency services were called to the scene at around 11.55am, with two fire engines from Altrincham and Sale and two technical response units from Leigh and Ashton-under-Lyne in attendance.
Mrs Gee received first aid at the scene from a fire service trauma technician before being transferred to the care of North West Ambulance Service.