Daniel Sowter certainly dodged a bullet (make that a branch) during a wild storm that lashed the Manning on Tuesday, November 6.
Just after 4pm, Daniel was driving on Shorts Road, near Cedar Party Road, when the storm struck.
With flashes of lightning mixed with rain and wind, the 19-year-old pushed on.
“I reckon I had under a metre of vision,” Daniel said.
“I saw trees coming down all around me.”
What happened next could have been a far more catastrophic story to write.
As lightning split trees along the road, a large branch speared into the windscreen of Daniel’s Nissan Navara, striking him in his left knee.
Desperate to get to safety, Daniel pushed the branch off before continuing on the road to find a clearing to pull over.
Unbeknownst to Daniel, his parents Leona and Richard were driving on a near-by road.
They came across a couple who were assessing their house for storm damage.
“They said ‘we’re okay but you should have seen this other bloke who came through before’.
“They showed me a photo and I screamed ‘that’s my son’,” Leona said.
Leona and Richard drove up the road and found Daniel pulling the branch out of the windscreen while blood trickled down his knee.
Daniel will be thinking twice before accepting another early mark from his boss.
“I’d worked hard over the weekend so I was given an early mark,” Daniel said.
“He’d be wishing he hadn’t left early,” Leona added.
Taking the incident in his stride, Daniel was determined to help others in the storm’s aftermath.
I reckon I had under a metre of vision.Daniel Sowter
“He was only focused on helping other people clean up,” Richard said.
Boasting a broken windscreen, a damaged side mirror, dents and scratches, it will be some time before Daniel gets back in the car.
“I’ve only just had it fixed,” a disappointed Daniel said.