Local News

Man killed when tree crushes car

Posted August 19, 2009 3:01 p.m. EDT
Updated August 19, 2009 10:53 p.m. EDT

— 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.

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.

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