Local News

Tree collapse leaves woman to raise children alone

Posted August 20, 2009 10:56 a.m. EDT
Updated August 20, 2009 7:00 p.m. EDT

— Brandy Donovan lost her boyfriend, the father of her unborn child, Wednesday afternoon when the car they were traveling in was crushed by a falling tree.

Donovan, 25, of Garner, was on the way to a friend’s house with her boyfriend, DeJuan Green, 21, of Garner, and another man, John Wolff, 32, of Raleigh.

As they drove down Old Stage Road in southern Wake County, they saw a tree start to fall.

"The tree just came down. We couldn't speed up or nothing. It came down so fast and it completely stopped the car," Donovan said.

Green died at the scene, Trooper Eric Hunt said. Wolff was trapped inside the car. Paramedics were able to get him out and and take him to WakeMed, where he was treated and released.

Donovan said she clawed her way out of the car, then ran to check on Green. "The tree is laying on him," she said. "The whole car is busted in."

The couple, who have a six-month-old daughter, was expecting a second child next year.

Green’s death leaves Donovan a single parent two times over. Her first husband died in 2007 as a result of a single-car crash, she said. They had four children. She is left to care for her unborn child and her five other children alone.

"He didn't deserve to die this way," she said of Green. "He was too young."

Tests show the baby survived the accident and has a strong heartbeat. Donovan had a cut on her head and hands from her escape from the car. Doctors had her lying flat Thursday while they worked to determine the extent of her injuries. WakeMed listed her in good condition.