THE WIFE of a motorcyclist who was nearly killed by a falling tree seven years ago says they are relieved to finally have closure as they reach a settlement over the life-changing accident.

John Battley, a self employed motorbike courier, was struck when a 70ft poplar tree on Station Road in Marlow was uprooted during storms in January 2007.

Mr Battley, now 69, has no memory of the near tragedy, with firefighters saying he was lucky to survive after suffering serious head injuries in the freak accident.

A judge ruled that Wycombe District Council, which was responsible for the tree, failed to recognise ownership, inspect it or consider its stability when a car park was built next to it.

And after long legal dispute, the couple are finally coming to a financial settlement after Mr Battley was forced to continue working beyond retirement age to make ends meet.

Mr Battley’s wife Alison said: "The accident in January 2007 was really life changing for John and I. It was a miracle he survived, but sadly his head injuries left him with constant headaches, short term memory loss and mood swings.

Unfortunately after the accident he had to try and get back to work sooner than he should have done and then carry on beyond retirement age because of the accident's financial impact on our lives. He has now retired but I am still having to work.

"As you can imagine it has been a long, painful and frustrating fight for compensation. It was very stressful having to go to court to prove our case and we are so relieved that we now have closure."

Mr Battley, a self-employed courier from Harlow in Essex, had just delivered a package to Holmes and Marchant graphics in Station Road when winds of up to 60mph toppled the tree.

He was sitting astride his bike in the car park at the rear of the building when the tree fell, hitting his head and trapping him underneath branches.

An air ambulance was unable to take off due to the strong winds, and Mr Battley was instead rushed to Wexham Park Hospital, where he underwent an emergency operation.

His relatives described the keen motorcyclist, who was 62 at the time, as a "very strong man" and said it was a miracle he survived.

WDC has declined to comment as it is still working through settlement terms with the Battleys.