Driver killed by falling tree in Aberdeenshire during Storm Arwenon November 27, 2021 at 5:17 pm

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A police van was also crushed by a tree as officers attended the fatal crash in Aberdeenshire.

A man died in Aberdeenshire during Storm Arwen after his pick-up truck was hit by a falling tree.

Police Scotland said the 35-year-old was pronounced dead at the scene on the B977 Dyce to Hatton of Fintry Road, at about 17:45 on Friday.

The force also confirmed that officers responding the incident returned to their parked van only to discover it had been flattened by another tree.

High winds caused travel chaos and power cuts across the country.

About 80,000 homes are still without power and dozens of passengers were stranded on a train for 17 hours.

The fatality brings the UK death toll from the storm to three after a head teacher died when a tree fell onto his car in Antrim and another man was killed by a falling tree in Cumbria.

The Met Office’s highest red level storm warning expired at 02:00 and it later confirmed a gust of 81mph had been recorded in Inverbervie, Aberdeenshire.

Many parts of Scotland, particularly the east coast, have suffered storm damage from fallen trees and travel disruption as a result of the high winds.

Forest damage near Kinbuck, Stirling

Image source, Network Rail Air Ops Scotland

Sgt Craig McNeill of the divisional road policing unit at Inverurie said the driver who died was in a Nissan Navara pick-up truck when it was struck.

He added: “Our thoughts are very much with the man’s family and friends at this time.

“Officers responding to this crash had parked a distance away due to weather conditions. On returning to their van they discovered a tree had fallen on it. No one was injured.”

In another incident a car was hit by a large tree on the Black Isle. The occupants were left shaken but unhurt.

Meanwhile, rail passengers finally arrived in Aberdeen on Saturday morning after spending the night at Huntly station, Aberdeenshire.

Mark Swinglehurst, 62, from Burghead, Moray, told BBC Scotland: “I got on the train at Elgin, just the back of three yesterday afternoon and about five o’clock we hit Huntly and we stayed there for about 17 hours.

“It was cold but reasonably comfortable. The staff looked after us really well.”

Coastal areas of Angus, Fife, Aberdeenshire, Moray, East Lothian and the Scottish Borders, along with Aberdeen and Dundee have been the worst affected.

Tree in garden
Lanark United's damaged stadium

Image source, Lanark United

Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) said that around 60,000 customers were still without power on Saturday afternoon.

Mark Rough, director of customer operations at SSEN, said: “The impact of Storm Arwen continues to be felt across much of the country and has resulted in significant damage to our network across the north of Scotland.

“Our teams have been out since first light this morning to fully assess the extent of damage, supported by helicopter patrols to identify the worst affected areas, as we continue to restore power to customers in what remains very challenging conditions.”

Meanwhile, SP Energy Networks confirmed 20,000 customers were affected on Saturday, mainly in Dumfries, Fife, and Lothian and Borders.

A spokesman said: “The storm brought down many trees and coupled with wind borne debris has caused significant damage to our overhead line network. Access is also being hampered by significant road closures in many areas.

“Our teams have been working throughout the night in these conditions to assess the damage to our network and reconnect customers where possible.

“They are continuing to work as quickly and safely as possible to restore power to our customers despite ongoing high wind speeds.”

The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service said firefighters responded to more than 500 weather-related incidents in the 24 hour period up to 07:00, with the north and east worst affected.

A spokeswoman confirmed an appliance from Galashiels in the Borders was struck by falling trees during the storm but no one was injured.

Assistant Chief Officer John Dickie described it as “an exceptional weather event.”

Two trampolines in a garden
Tree blocking line

Image source, Network Rail Scotland

ScotRail said it was expecting major disruption to continue and it confirmed safety checks were being carried out on several routes.

Network Rail shared a picture captured from a helicopter of a tree blocking both lines near Errol, west of Dundee.

It described the overnight situation as “one of the most challenging in recent memory”.

All Caledonian Sleeper services between Inverness and London Euston on Sunday have been cancelled and passengers will be issued with an automatic refund.

There was also disruption on Scotland’s roads and cancellations and delays across the country’s ferry network.

Aberdeen Airport confirmed aircraft movements were being limited due to the weather and urged passengers to check the status of their flight with their airline.

Arwen is the first of the Met Office’s latest list of named storms this winter.

The last red warning in Scotland was in March 2018 during the storm which was dubbed the Beast from the East.

It was a combined wind and snow warning which also covered parts of south west England and South Wales.

Red warnings mean there could be danger to life, damage to property, travel and power disruption, and dangerous seas.

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