Henry County driver narrowly escapes injury when tree falls on his car

High winds bring down numerous trees Friday, blocking roads, causing damage

By Colter Anstaett - Southside Bureau Reporter

HENRY COUNTY, Va. - "All of a sudden, a crash. I look out the window and here’s a big tree over the top of the car," said the woman, who didn't want to be identified, who lives in the home in front of which the accident happened.

Around 7:30 a.m. Friday, a gray Toyota Camry was headed south on Figsboro Road near Camp Branch Church when a tree came crashing down on it.

The accident happened right in front of a home.

The woman who lives in the home said she was looking out from her kitchen and saw the whole thing.

"I was worried about the person in the car. So I come outside and make sure he was OK, then I called 911," the woman said.

The driver didn’t want to speak on camera either, but told 10 News he saw the tree start to fall so he hit his brakes -- but he couldn’t stop in time.

Thankfully, he was not hurt.

"Oh, honey, I was relieved," the woman said. "I just thank God because I don’t want anybody to get hurt. I have a little grandson. He was crying, I was crying."

Dyers Store Volunteer Fire Department Chief Tommy Martin was shocked when he arrived on scene.

"Wow! How lucky this guy was," Martin said, when asked what his first reaction was when he arrived on scene.

It was the first wind-related call of the day for his department, but he said other departments in the county had already been busy.

"We cut the tree out of the road, cleaned the road up and waited for the rack truck to get here," Martin said.

Further south on Figsboro Road, the Bizzy Bee gas station was closed because a nearby tree fell on some power lines.

Just before Figsboro Road’s intersection with Kings Mountain Road, traffic was snarled for about 20 minutes as a VDOT crew worked to remove a large tree that had fallen over the road.

In Danville, a neighbor spotted a massive pine tree that had been partially uprooted and was leaning on a house on Greenwich Circle not far from Stonewall Jackson Park.

Firefighters responded to make sure no one was trapped inside.

Battalion Chief Dean Fowler said calls like this are treated just like a fire.

"We make sure the building secure and safe for our personnel, let them enter and make sure there’s nobody inside trapped or injured," Fowler said.

"Once we make sure that that's taken place, we remove any fire hazards, i.e., turning the electrical off, turning the gas off...Then, we'll block the area off and let the building officials come and inspect to see if it's inhabitable or not."

The home is owned by Roanoke Mayor Sherman Lea and is being rented by the people living there.

They were not home when the tree fell.

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