Local News

Man killed when tree crushes car

Posted August 19, 2009

— A man died Wednesday when a huge tree fell on a car on Old Stage Road, near Trueway Lane, in southern Wake County, the state Highway Patrol said.

Trooper Eric Hunt said DeJuan Green, 21, of Garner, who was the front-seat passenger, was killed. Driver John Wolff, 32, of Raleigh, and back-seat passenger Brandy Donovan, 25, of Garner, were injured and taken to WakeMed.

"The tree fell on the car,” B.J. Birch said.

The 12-year-old said he had recently gotten off his school bus when he heard the tree fall, “it was like boom!” he recalled.

Alexander Graham, who lives near the scene, said Donovan was able to get out of the car and ran screaming for help.

"Her boyfriend can't move (she was saying), he was in bad shape. She had blood and glass in her arm and face,” Graham said.

Her boyfriend, Green, was sitting on the side of the car that absorbed most of the force of the tree, Hunt said.

"It is crushed in pretty well, from the top of the roof all the way down,” Hunt said.

Green died on impact. Wolf and Donovan were both listed in good condition late Wednesday at WakeMed.

Man killed when tree falls on car in Garner Man killed when tree falls on car in Garner

Firefighters from Garner and Fuquay-Varina responded to the scene just before 3 p.m., along with EMS units from Garner, Cary and Wake County.

Hunt said the tree measured 24-26 inches in diameter. Firefighters used chainsaws to cut it into pieces to remove it from the car.

"I can't recall this ever happening before as most of the time the tree is already down on the roadway and the vehicle will actually strike the tree. But as far as the tree actually falling on-top of the vehicle, I have never had it happen," Hunt said.

Graham said people in the area had noticed the big tree before, and that it was old and rotten in places.

"I guess it got tired and went on by itself … at the worst possible time,” Graham said.

Hunt said the accident is being blamed on the tree's age and condition.

Old Stage Road was closed for a few hours after the accident as crews cleared debris from the roadway.

View Tree on car in a larger map


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  • leo-nc Aug 20, 2009

    Justin the guy's comment was justified and I just commented on his comment. You just can't handle it is the real issue. Take it how you wish.

  • Justin T. Aug 20, 2009

    GOLO mods... I thought it was againt your own TOS to let users attack each other yet you thought it appropriate to let leo-nc say "I got owned". If that isn't an insult and an attack against another user I've never seen one.

    I've stayed away for this reason. I won't be back. Please delete my account.

    So much for being the "man on the scene" and reporting something I witnessed. I think that my anger was fair since the homeowner had plenty time to take care of the problem.

    When other users start calling me out and I stand by my statement that's one thing but letting people insult me and try to act like I'm liable should not be allowed. It's against your own TOS.

    I'm sure one of you mods just didn't like my post and decided to let people beat me up. Great work. I'm leaving like many others (good riddance to all of us, right?).

    You and your handful of user buddies enjoy it while it lasts...

  • recpt Aug 20, 2009

    Poor Brandy, if that was her boyfriend that passed then it means she has lost two boyfriends to mishaps with cars. Now all of her kids are fatherless, it's so sad!

  • vote4changeASAP Aug 20, 2009

    While living in Colorado, I remember reading about a state highway patrolman and his wife traveling near Wolfcreek Pass. A tree just happened to snap from up on the mountains and fell on top of their car as they were traveling. Both were instantly killed. It is just something that happened.

  • DeathRow-IFeelYourPain-NOT Aug 20, 2009

    There are many people who get involved in wrecks and call it an "accident". And I have said many times that accidents almost never happen, because something could have been done to avoid the wreck. Which means someone was negligent in almost every wreck and it WAS NOT an accident. THIS is one of the VERY FEW wrecks that is truly classified as an accident. No one was at fault as it was a freak of nature that this tree fell at exactly the right moment to hit the car. Trees and big limbs fall all the time. And rarely do they ever hit an occupied vehicle.

  • Chole Aug 20, 2009

    God be with the families

  • bicigoa Aug 20, 2009

    Actually I am disgusted by some of these posts. Why can't we all just say a prayer for all that were involved, and their family members. There is no reason to argue about whos fault it was. To all the people who new and loved these people.. you are in my thoughts and prayers.

  • meh2 Aug 19, 2009

    Red oaks are prone to heart rot, and overall rot when branches fall off. The tree gets weaker and weaker. It's not cheap to take them down, properly, but now someone has died as a result of ignoring an obvious problem. That cost is immeasurable.

  • FromClayton Aug 19, 2009

    Justin - next time call the police or dot...otherwise you are just as guilty as anyone else who did nothing to save a life...
    The life you save may be your own.

    Thanks for those who commented on my original post. This tree has been rotting and falling into the road in chunks for over a month. I stand by by statement that the owner is negligent.

    I got my facts from seeing it with my own eyes... BTW.
    Justin T

  • DeaconBlues Aug 19, 2009

    Strange things happen, such as this couple: http://www.wral.com/news/local/story/1090282/

    Sometimes it's just your time to go :(