Family escapes harm as falling tree in Durham narrowly misses SUV

By Lora Lavigne, WRAL Durham reporter Durham, N.C. — A massive tree fell Wednesday night in Durham, narrowly missing a family traveling by in an SUV. The tree came crashing down near the intersection of Washington Street and Markham Avenue at about 7:30 p.m.

No one in the SUV was hurt, but the vehicle sustained some damage. “It was loud, like a large tree hitting the ground. You know, just like breaking wood,” nearby resident Nealon Kallok said. “It’s kind of crazy because I’m always going past that tree, like walking.

So, it’s scary to know it was so close to falling for the past weeks.” “I saw that and said, ‘Oh, my gosh. It happens,'” said Charlotte Davis, who lives two blocks away.

Durham’s Urban Forestry Department said a combination of winds and rot that had weakened the tree’s root system caused it to fall, taking out nearby power lines. Crews worked overnight and into early Thursday afternoon to repair the utility poles and restore power. The intersection reopened to traffic shortly before 3 p.m.

The tree was on private property, so it’s not one city crews would normally inspect.

Anyone concerned about a potentially dangerous tree can submit a service request through Durham OneCall at 919-560-1200, and someone from the city can check it out, as long as it’s in the city’s right-of-way.

Almost exactly five years ago, another tree toppled a tree onto a car about six blocks away, on Trinity Avenue. A pregnant woman sitting in the car was killed.

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