A father-of-three was killed instantly when high winds blew a tree onto his car as he drove through central Watford during the St Jude’s Storm last year.

Donal Drohan’s red Peugeot 207 was crushed in Lower High Street as the gale lashed the area on Monday, October 28, at around 6.50am, when the 40ft high Lombardi poplar tree came crashing down.

The 51-year-old, who lived in Harrow, had been on his way to work when the tragic accident happened near to Wickes and the Mercedes garage.

The police said Mr Drohan had been travelling at around 28mph when his car was hit by the tree, and he had no chance to brake.

An inquest held at Hertfordshire’s Coroner Court heard that Mr Drohan, who was an operations manager at Harrow Council for almost 25 years, died instantly from his injuries.

Coroner Mr David Thomas said "He would have died instantly, I'm sure of that."

He added: “I cannot begin to imagine how awful this has been for the family. He was healthy, he was a good family man working hard and enjoying his family life and his family enjoying him.

“He had been on his way to work, driving perfectly normal and then suddenly it happens. The sudden awfulness of this is unimaginable Nothing that I can say can make that any less but I just wanted to acknowledge how awful this must be for you and you have everyone’s deepest sympathies.”

Speaking after his death, Mr Drohan’s family said: “Donal was a loving husband and father of three. He was the best husband and father anyone could wish for. You couldn't find anyone who had a bad word to say about him.

“He was very supportive to everybody who knew him and couldn't say no to helping out with anything.

"He was an active member of the community who was involved with local groups and had recently helped Team Harrow of The Challenge Network helping to shape the lives of hundreds of young people within the local community.”