A woman impaled by a tree branch which crashed onto her car after being brought down by high winds has died.

The 55-year-old was a passenger in a Vauxhall Zafira travelling on to the A642 outside Wakefield, Yorkshire last night when the tree believed to weigh about a ton smashed the car.

She was rushed to the nearby Pinderfields Hospital where police confirmed she died soon after.

A spokeswoman for the West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service said: “This was a tree fallen on to a car and one female, impaled by a branch, was extricated by fire service personnel and passed into the hands of the ambulance service.”

The male driver of the vehicle, 54, was also taken to hospital where he is recovering from his injuries which are not thought to be life-threatening.

The incident occurred as strong winds and heavy rain battered the north of England.