A Canby couple credits their instincts and a higher power for their survival after a 100-foot fir tree landed on top of their car.
The tree crushed the roof of the Hyundai Sonata, leaving a very small space in the cab of the sedan and trapping the two inside.
Chris Natelborg's left shoulder was fractured. His wife, Tymona Natelborg, was not hurt.
"It was a miracle, for sure," he said. "It's just humbling going through something like that and live."
The Natelborgs had parked the car outside her parents' home on Northeast 34th Place Sunday afternoon. They were discussing a house they had toured earlier in the day when they heard the tree creaking.
"We saw the wood splitting. It was actually coming towards us," said Chris Natelborg. "We had seconds to react."
Tymona Natelborg, who was sitting in the passenger seat, dropped to the floor.
Chris Natelborg started the vehicle, but didn't have time to move the car. He threw his upper body onto the center console while still sitting in the driver's seat.
The roof, he said, came within inches of pinning him to the console.
After the impact, the couple remained calm. Tymona Natelborg called 911 and the couple reassured one another until firefighters arrived to help them crawl out.
"I think we know where we're going when we die, so I have no fear of death. But you never expect it to be… no one could ever really prepare for something like that," said Chris Natelborg. "We're just thankful that we're alive. I think it means we've got a little more God wants us to do here."
According to the Canby Fire Department, the tree likely fell to a combination of factors: wet, but not saturated ground, root rot and normal area winds.
The tree was cut down Sunday evening. The family planned to have arborists analyze neighboring trees for safety.
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