Wild weather caused a chaotic chain of events in the Adelaide Hills last night, leaving one man in hospital and forcing police officers to jump out of the path of two out-of-control trucks.
Schoolteacher Dennis Smith remains in a critical but stable condition in hospital after he was hit by a falling tree at Ironbank about 10:30pm (ACST).
He was helping State Emergency Service volunteers remove a 20-metre iron bark that had fallen across Nioka Drive in strong winds when he was pinned to the ground by a red gum.
He was taken to the Royal Adelaide Hospital.
Neighbour Anthony Wagenknecht says he feared the worst when he saw Mr Smith take the full force of the falling tree.
"It just came crashing down onto him... I couldn't find him I was just yelling out for his name and everything I couldn't see him," he said.
"I went out with the torch and I found him pinned under the tree.
"It was pretty traumatic because you know him and you've been in the area for ten years so it's a bit of a traumatic thing really."
Another neighbour Mal Capone says the tree narrowly missed him.
"I didn't know what to think. I was just in complete shock and disbelief basically," he said.
Two police patrols that attended the accident were involved in a near miss less than two hours after leaving the scene.
The officers had stopped their vehicles to help a driver whose car had spun out of control in slippery conditions on the South Eastern Freeway near the Stirling overpass.
Senior Constable Tim Dodds says the officers were in the emergency lane when they were forced to jump for safety.
"As they were both out of their cars, a semi-trailer approaching lost control on the slippery road, crashed into a B-double-semi with both trucks then crashing into one of the parked police cars, narrowly missing the other police car," he said.
"Both police officers were forced to take evasive action."
One of the truck drivers suffered minor injuries.
In a separate emergency overnight, two people were forced to break a window to escape from their burning home at Morphett Vale.
The pair were sleeping in the house in Kerrin Avenue when an electrical malfunction caused a fire in the roof just before midnight.
They were was woken by the sound of breaking glass and smashed a bedroom window to escape.
One of the occupants was treated for minor smoke inhalation.
More than 15 firefighters took 20 minutes to contain the blaze which caused $300,000 damage.
© ABC 2012
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