Falling tree causes car accident in Phenix City - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Falling tree causes car accident in Phenix City

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Kristy Exum's vehicle, and the tree that fell just as she was approaching. Kristy Exum's vehicle, and the tree that fell just as she was approaching.
Photo credit: Dante Renzulli Kristy Exum crawled out of the back unharmed with the help of another driver. Photo credit: Dante Renzulli Kristy Exum crawled out of the back unharmed with the help of another driver.
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PHENIX CITY, AL (WTVM) -

A tree fell across 5th Avenue in Phenix City during a rain storm Friday and landed on a passing vehicle.

The driver heard a snap and watched the tall pine begin to fall into her path, but it was too late to stop in time.

After escaping from her SUV unharmed, Kristy Exum of Smiths Station joked that she should try playing the lottery today.

As unlucky as it is to be the victim of this type of accident, she is very fortunate that the tree didn't fall a fraction of a second later.

The difference between the trunk of the tree landing across the windshield or the driver's seat was a matter of inches.

Rain was falling lightly in the area, but weather was not especially severe.

The land owner says the tree showed no signs of rotting or illness.

"I was shocked, I really was, because I don't know why the tree would fall. It looked like a pretty good tree, but I guess it was just top heavy," said Danny Hopkins of Danny Hopkins Painting.

Kristy Exum explained what happened just before the tree fell down.

"I was just riding down the road and then I saw it coming, then I heard it snap, or something snap, I guess it was a power line, I'm not real sure.  I couldn't do anything about it.  I just tried to stop.  That's what happened," said Exum. "I couldn't get out of the car and none of the doors would open, so I had to climb out the back. I left everything in the car. The lady that was behind me, she stopped and called the police for me and helped me get out the back door. She just saw the back two tires come up off the ground and it scared her to death. She didn't think anyone was going to be alive when she got around to the front."

Exum said she called her husband from a police officer's cell phone and he rushed to the crash scene from work to meet her.

Fifth Avenue between Riverchase Drive and Fourth Avenue was closed for hours Friday morning and afternoon as crews worked to remove the tree and vehicle from the road.  Electricity was interrupted in the surrounding neighborhood, but service was restored quickly.

Copyright 2013 WTVM. All rights reserved.

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