Tree lands on car, traps 2 inside - KPTV - FOX 12

Tree lands on car, traps 2 inside

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CANBY, OR (KPTV) -

A couple walked away with relatively minor injuries after a 100-foot fir tree fell on top of the car they were in, completely crushing it.

Canby fire responded to the 900 block of Northeast 34th Place at 2:46 p.m. Sunday and found the man and woman trapped inside the car.

Investigators said the couple had just pulled up to their family's home at the end of a cul-de-sac. They were sitting in their parked car when the tree in front of it snapped off at the base and fell on them.

Firefighters said they were able to help the couple crawl out of a small opening in the passenger side window. The husband and wife were taken to a local hospital. The man suffered a broken shoulder and the woman was uninjured. 

"The best word that just keeps coming up in my mind is just thankful," said Bernie Van Houten, the woman's father.

Rescuers said they were expecting major injuries, if not fatalities, based on the size of the tree and the damage it did to the car.

"If you look at the passenger's compartment, especially the driver's compartment, there's about a space the size of two loafs of bread in there," said Troy Buzalsky, the division chief with Canby fire. "How the husband survived is just remarkable."

Van Houten said his daughter and his son-in-law moved back to Oregon this summer and are staying with him until they get established. He said the couple spent the day house hunting before they arrived home.

Crews spent the evening removing the tree. Investigators believe it was a combination of wet and loose soil, root failure, and normal area winds that caused the tree to fall.

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