NEWTON, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – CBS 11 Storm Chaser Jason McLaughlin followed Hurricane Laura inland for a firsthand look at her powerful winds about 80 miles North of the coast in Newton.

Just before 5 a.m. Thursday morning, while driving through a wooded area, a sudden burst of wind sent a tree crashing down atop his car.

“It looked like one of those instant, spin-up tornados hit and everything around me came crashing down and the back of my car was crushed,” McLaughlin said.

(credit: Jason McLaughlin)

“I look back and I see part of a tree trunk is in the backseat of my car,” he said. “And the winds are 100 miles per hour plus at that point and I just hear cracking and I know more trees are going to fall.”

Thankfully, he managed to maneuver back and forth and drive out from under the trunk.

After the storm he returned to the area to see what it looked like in the daylight. “I saw that tree and at the same time a whole bunch of other trees stacked on top of it.”

McLaughlin says his car will likely be considered a total loss. It’s a tough break, but a risk he takes to document Mother Nature’s most dangerous conditions.

“We’re trying to be there to keep those informed that live in those areas,” he said. “So they’re able to evacuate and still see what’s happening to their homes as well.”